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 December 20, 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 December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
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