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.

Related Articles


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 March 5, 2015 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 March 5, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Bupa Eyes India Healthcare Opportunities

Bupa Eyes India Healthcare Opportunities

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) — Bupa is hoping to expand in India&apos;s fast-growing health insurance market, once a rule change on foreign investment is implemented. The British private healthcare group&apos;s CEO tells Grace Pascoe why it&apos;s so keen on the new opportunity. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in Your Pocket Is Getting Smarter

Doctor in Your Pocket Is Getting Smarter

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) — Mobile apps are turning smartphones into a personal doctors, with users able to measure heart rate, blood pressure and even blood sugar. But will it change our behaviour? Ivor Bennett reports from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AbbVie Inks $21B Deal To Buy Cancer Drugmaker Pharmacyclics

AbbVie Inks $21B Deal To Buy Cancer Drugmaker Pharmacyclics

Newsy (Mar. 5, 2015) — AbbVie announced Wednesday it will buy cancer drugmaker Pharmacyclics in a $21 billion deal. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) — Researchers found adults only get the flu about once every five years. Scientists analyzed how a person&apos;s immunity builds up over time as well. 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