Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Health In Low-income Countries: Outsourcing And Cash Incentives May Help

Date:
October 6, 2009
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
Contracting private providers of health care services and giving cash incentives to patients are two strategies that have been proposed to increase access to health care in low income countries. In two new reviews of public health care policies in poor and middle income countries, researchers evaluated the effectiveness of these approaches for increasing use of health care services. The cash incentives review is the first ever systematic review on this subject.

Contracting private providers of healthcare services and giving cash incentives to patients are two strategies that have been proposed to increase access to healthcare in low income countries. In two new Cochrane Systematic Reviews of public healthcare policies in poor and middle income countries, researchers evaluated the effectiveness of these approaches for increasing use of health care services. The cash incentives review is the first ever systematic review on this subject.

One way that policy makers or donors invest in healthcare in poorer countries is to contract private organisations to provide healthcare services for particular regions. This practice is increasing in fragile* countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Another more targeted approach is to provide conditional cash incentives for individual households who participate in health programmes; recently a popular strategy in several Latin American countries. For instance, households receive money if they attend health education programmes, or bring their children to regular health checks to receive nutritional supplements and immunisations. The payments aim to encourage households to adopt behaviours that will improve their health and well-being.

Several trials from a total of ten studies on cash incentives provided strong evidence for positive health impacts. Evidence from three trials that looked at the effectiveness of contracting out health services, on the other hand, was relatively weak. In both cases it was hard to be sure that any improvements seen were only as a direct result of the policies put in place.

"It is very difficult to evaluate the success of these kinds of public health policies independently from other contextual factors that may play a role," said lead researcher Mylene Lagarde, of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in London, UK. "For instance, most experiences so far have been carried out in Latin American countries, where health systems were relatively well developed and basic infrastructures such as roads and banking systems were available. Such favourable conditions ensure that cash transfer programmes can be well implemented and target the poorest groups."

"With this is mind, it is very important that policy makers in poor settings identify the key barriers to healthcare before embarking on expensive healthcare programmes, whose success relies on good existing health infrastructures. For future studies, it will also be important to explore the cost-effectiveness of both contracting out and cash incentive strategies," added Lagarde.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Lagarde M, Palmer N. The impact of contracting out on health outcomes and use of health services in low and middle-income countries. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2009, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD008133 DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD008133
  2. Lagarde M, Haines A, Palmer N. The impact of conditional cash transfers on health outcomes and use of health services in low and middle income countries. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2009, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD008137 DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD008137

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Health In Low-income Countries: Outsourcing And Cash Incentives May Help." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091006191320.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2009, October 6). Health In Low-income Countries: Outsourcing And Cash Incentives May Help. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091006191320.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Health In Low-income Countries: Outsourcing And Cash Incentives May Help." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091006191320.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Positive Ebola News: Outbreak 'Contained' In Nigeria

Some Positive Ebola News: Outbreak 'Contained' In Nigeria

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) The CDC says a new case of Ebola has not been reported in Nigeria for more than 21 days, leading to hopes the outbreak might be nearing its end. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN Ebola Mission Head: Immediate Action Is Crucial

UN Ebola Mission Head: Immediate Action Is Crucial

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) The newly appointed head of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), Anthony Banbury, outlines operations to tackle the virus. Duration: 00:39 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Confirms First Case of Ebola in US

CDC Confirms First Case of Ebola in US

AP (Sep. 30, 2014) The CDC has confirmed the first diagnosed case of Ebola in the United States. The patient is being treated at a Dallas hospital after traveling earlier this month from Liberia. (Sept. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Breast Cancer Drug Extends Lives In Clinical Trial

New Breast Cancer Drug Extends Lives In Clinical Trial

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) In a clinical trial, breast cancer patients lived an average of 15 months longer when they received new drug Perjeta along with Herceptin. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins