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1990 - 2000: A Decade of Health Sector Reformin Developing Countries: Why, and What Did We Learn?
Nordic Council of Ministers, Nordic School of Public Health NHV. UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR), The World Health Organization, 20 Avenue Appia, CH-1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland.
2005 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Objective: The overall aim of the work is to contribute to a better understanding of the dynamics between health sector reform policies and practices as well as the factors that determine and shape the thinking about global public health; and to try out a framework for understanding the inter-linkages and interactions between the determinants for and the elements of health sector reforms and their implementation.

Methods: The object of study was a contemporary phenomenon, consisting of a diverse array of interventions in many different directions and fields within a complex political, social and economic environment. It is difficult to attribute the effects of the reforms to any single intervention or to establish exact boundaries between the phenomenon and the context. Therefore, a multi-stage case study research strategy, based on the work of R.K.Yin, was chosen. The study involved two major sub-units of analysis, i.e., the macro and the micro level. Each of these involved several sub-units of analysis. The analysis of the micro level further comprised a cross-case analysis of 10 individual case studies conducted in six developing countries.

Results: Clear linkages were found between the greater societal processes and the shape and results of reforms during the decade. The reforms had not been completed in any of the countries studied, but appeared to be stuck with undesired effects, lacking energy to move forward. Contributing to this was the diminishing role of the state, which bordered abdication from public health in most of the countries, leaving the drive to the market and individual demands and interests. The net effect could well be a reversal of some of the public health achievements of the past - however, it was also found that reverting to dedicated disease control programmes would not be the answer, as these were found unsustainable and undermining the health systems.

Conclusion: There is a divide between libertarian and utilitarian values on the one side and communitarian and egalitarian values on the other. Thus, it is not just about public health practitioners not being good enough to implement, it is more so about what we want to achieve and what it acceptable respectively not acceptable and reaching compromises. This place the societal processes at centre-stage for public health. However, it is also about implementation, it is about how public health policy-makers and reformers can effectively dialogue and facilitate achieving consensus and translate the societal 'wants' and 'want nots' into managerial bites. Implementation becomes a process of constant adjustment and readjustment oscillating between political and technocratic levels

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. , 110 p.
Series
NHV Reports and Doctor of Public Health-Theses, ISSN 0283-1961 ; NHV Report 2005:2
Keyword [en]
Health sector reform, values, implementation, developing countries, international public health
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:norden:org:diva-3794ISBN: 91-7997-111-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:norden-3794DiVA: diva2:787382
Public defence
2015-06-01, Nordic School of Public Health NHV, Göteborg, Sweden, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-02-10 Created: 2015-02-10 Last updated: 2015-02-10Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Tuberculosis control and managed competition in Colombia.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Tuberculosis control and managed competition in Colombia.
Show others...
2004 (English)In: International Journal of Health Planning and Management, ISSN 0749-6753, E-ISSN 1099-1751, Vol. 19 Suppl 1, S25-43 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Law 100 introduced the Health Sector Reform in Colombia, a model of managed competition. This article addresses the effects of this model in terms of output and outcomes of TB control. Trends in main TB control indicators were analysed using secondary data sources, and 25 interviews were done with key informants from public and private insurers and provider institutions, and from the health directorate level. We found a deterioration in the performance of TB control: a decreasing number of BCG vaccine doses applied, a reduction in case finding and contacts identification, low cure rates and an increasing loss of follow up, which mainly affects poor people. Fragmentation occurred as the atomization and discontinuity of the technical processes took place, there was a lack of coordination, as well as a breakdown between individual and collective interventions, and the health information system began to disintegrate. The introduction of the Managed Competition (MC) in Colombia appeared to have adverse effects on TB control due to the dominance of the economic rationality in the health system and the weak state stewardship. Our recommendations are to restructure the reform's public health component, strengthen the technical capacity in public health of the state, mainly at the local and departmental levels, and to improve the health information system by reorienting its objectives to public health goals.

National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:norden:org:diva-3783 (URN)10.1002/hpm.775 (DOI)15686059 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2015-02-10 Created: 2015-02-10 Last updated: 2015-02-10Bibliographically approved
2. Market reform: a challenge to public health--the case of schistosomiasis control in China.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Market reform: a challenge to public health--the case of schistosomiasis control in China.
2004 (English)In: International Journal of Health Planning and Management, ISSN 0749-6753, E-ISSN 1099-1751, Vol. 19 Suppl 1, S79-94 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study examines how the provision of schistosomiasis control has adapted to increased exposure to market forces which has occurred in China over the past decades with the main emphasis on contemporary performance of the services. Financial and service data were collected and analysed from ten schistosomiasis stations in the Hunan province. A document and literature review, key informant interviews, as well as two focus group discussions were conducted to establish their context. The study found that the schistosomiasis control stations had shifted their emphasis from prevention to clinical services and that 62% of the stations' total income now comes from charging for individual clinical services, while 90% of the total costs was related to providing these services. The study found that revenue generation had become the primary motive, and that over-treatment and prescription had become an accepted practice for all the stations. The study concludes that a combination of lax supervision and accountability, and a greater reliance on user-payment and market mechanisms has severely compromised the provision of the public goods elements of the schistosomiasis control programme.

National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:norden:org:diva-3784 (URN)10.1002/hpm.771 (DOI)15686062 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2015-02-10 Created: 2015-02-10 Last updated: 2015-02-10Bibliographically approved
3. The proof of the reform is in the implementation.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The proof of the reform is in the implementation.
2004 (English)In: International Journal of Health Planning and Management, ISSN 0749-6753, E-ISSN 1099-1751, Vol. 19 Suppl 1, S3-23 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In 2000, TDR funded a series of studies to examine the opportunities and threats of health sector reform to the control of tropical diseases. This article is a cross-case analysis of ten of those studies, exploring the similarities in patterns across the countries covered: Colombia, China, Nigeria, the Philippines, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. The implementation experiences across countries were strikingly similar despite very different socio-economic and epidemiological situations. The reform implementation was neither complete nor clean and had in all the countries found some sort of least-energy equilibrium where the processes had stopped at a sub-optimal stage needing considerable renewed 'change-energy' to achieve its objectives. The role of the state had, in several cases, been reduced to a situation where it neither pursued the interest of the public nor protected the individual against harm caused by the behaviours of others. Whether one should follow a dedicated disease control programme or a systems approach is not a relevant question. Effective disease control cannot be implemented without strong and functioning health systems and health system performance cannot be improved without considering which purpose the system is to serve.

National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:norden:org:diva-3782 (URN)10.1002/hpm.781 (DOI)15686058 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2015-02-10 Created: 2015-02-10 Last updated: 2015-02-10Bibliographically approved
4. The challenge of hospitals in health sector reform: the case of Zambia.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The challenge of hospitals in health sector reform: the case of Zambia.
2001 (English)In: Health Policy and Planning, ISSN 0268-1080, E-ISSN 1460-2237, Vol. 16 Suppl 2, 29-43 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Zambia underwent a period of health sector reform from 1993 to 1998. The reform attracted substantial support from the World Bank and bilateral donors. While significant achievements were made with respect to decentralization, increased accountability and donor collaboration, the reform stalled in 1998 without having achieved its objectives, largely because of the handling of hospital reform and the civil servants in the health sector. This study was an attempt to analyze this experience with the hospital issue. Service and infrastructure information was collected from all 88 hospitals in the country. Further, information was collected about the social, economic, and political context of the reform. The results show that an historical legacy from the colonial and post-colonial eras has left the country with an expensive and skewed hospital structure that is rapidly deteriorating and very difficult to reform. The referral system is not functioning: higher-level hospitals provide a higher level of care to their immediate catchment populations than is available to the population in general. The reality is thus far from the vision of equity of access to cost-effective quality care. Zambian doctors have either left the country or are concentrated at the highest referral levels in two provinces, leaving the lower levels and most of the country in the hands of expatriate doctors. There are no resources in the government or the private systems to maintain the current hospital infrastructure and things will likely deteriorate unless radical decisions are taken and implemented. The study further shows that the question of hospital reform is a political high-risk zone. If the problems are to be dealt with, the Zambian planners must, together with the politicians, work to create a broad national consensus for understanding the situation, its urgency, and the limited options for forward action.

National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:norden:org:diva-3791 (URN)11772988 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2015-02-10 Created: 2015-02-10 Last updated: 2015-02-10Bibliographically approved
5. User-payment, decentralization and health service utilization in Zambia.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>User-payment, decentralization and health service utilization in Zambia.
2001 (English)In: Health Policy and Planning, ISSN 0268-1080, E-ISSN 1460-2237, Vol. 16 Suppl 2, 19-28 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The study was undertaken to assess the impact of health sector reform from 1993 to 1997 in Zambia in respect of health care service utilization and the shift of caseload from hospitals to health centres. Four key indicators were chosen: general attendance, measles vaccinations, general admissions, and deliveries. Complete sets of district data were analyzed, covering 4.5 million people out of the total population in 1997 of 9.7 million. The results show, on the one hand, a dramatic decrease of about one-third in general attendance for both hospitals and health centres over a 2-year period, followed by a period with a continued but slower decrease. On the other hand, the results also show increases at health centres in measles vaccinations (up 40%), in admissions (up 25%) and in deliveries (up 60%). The study further documents a shift of caseload from hospitals to health centres for some key services. The health centre share increased from 72.2% to 79.8% for measles vaccinations, from 23.9% to 31.0% for general admissions, and from 22.9% to 32.4% for deliveries. However, the intended overall shift in outpatient caseload from hospitals to health centres did not materialize. The main lessons are: utilization patterns can be influenced by policies such as user-payment and decentralization; user payment in poor populations leads to dramatic declines in utilization of services; and decentralization with local control of resources could be an alternative to the traditional vertical disease programme approach for priority interventions.

National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:norden:org:diva-3790 (URN)11772987 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2015-02-10 Created: 2015-02-10 Last updated: 2015-02-10Bibliographically approved
6. Provision and financial burden of TB services in a financially decentralized system: a case study from Shandong, China.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Provision and financial burden of TB services in a financially decentralized system: a case study from Shandong, China.
2004 (English)In: International Journal of Health Planning and Management, ISSN 0749-6753, E-ISSN 1099-1751, Vol. 19 Suppl 1, S45-62 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Both challenges and opportunities have been created by health sector reforms for TB control programmes in developing countries. China has initiated radical economic and health reforms since the late 1970s and is among the highest TB endemic countries in the world. This paper examines the operation of TB control programmes in a decentralized financial system. A case study was conducted in four counties of Shandong Province and data were collected from document reviews, and key informant and TB patient interviews. The main findings include: direct government support to TB control weakened in poorer counties after its decentralization to township and county governments; DOTS programmes in poorer counties was not implemented as well as in more affluent ones; and TB patients, especially the low-income patients, suffered heavy financial burdens. Financial decentralization negatively affects the public health programmes and may have contributed to the more rapid increase in the number of TB cases seen over the past decade in the poorer areas of China compared with the richer ones. Establishing a financial transfer system at central and provincial levels, correcting financial incentives for health providers, and initiating pro-poor projects for the TB patients, are recommended.

National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:norden:org:diva-3788 (URN)10.1002/hpm.774 (DOI)15686060 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2015-02-10 Created: 2015-02-10 Last updated: 2015-02-10Bibliographically approved
7. Implications of decentralization for the control of tropical diseases in Tanzania: a case study of four districts.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Implications of decentralization for the control of tropical diseases in Tanzania: a case study of four districts.
2004 (English)In: International Journal of Health Planning and Management, ISSN 0749-6753, E-ISSN 1099-1751, Vol. 19 Suppl 1, S167-85 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Decentralization has been and is still high on the agenda in contemporary health sector reforms. However, despite extensive literature on the topic, little is known about the processes and results of decentralization, including the relationship with the control of major public health problems caused by communicable diseases. This paper reports from a study of decentralization and control of tropical diseases in districts implementing health sector and local government reforms in Tanzania. The study was undertaken in four districts, involving interviews and discussions with key stakeholders from individual household members to the district commissioner, and a review of official health policy, planning and management documents. The study findings reveal devolution of financial, planning and managerial authority being theoretical rather than practical, as district health plans are largely directed by national and international priorities rather than by local priorities. Vertical programmes still exist, focusing narrowly on single diseases. The local mechanisms for multisectoral collaboration, as well as community participation functions, are far from optimal. Further, inappropriate and weak information systems prevent adequate local responsiveness in setting priorities. In conclusion, decentralization might have a large potential for improving health system performance, but problems of implementation pose serious challenges to releasing this potential.

National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:norden:org:diva-3789 (URN)10.1002/hpm.776 (DOI)15686068 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2015-02-10 Created: 2015-02-10 Last updated: 2015-02-10Bibliographically approved
8. Equity, privatization and cost recovery in urban health care: the case of Lao PDR.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Equity, privatization and cost recovery in urban health care: the case of Lao PDR.
2002 (English)In: Health Policy and Planning, ISSN 0268-1080, E-ISSN 1460-2237, Vol. 17 Suppl, 72-84 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Along with the shift from a planned to market-oriented economy, as in many other developing countries, Lao PDR has promoted health care partnerships with the private sector, and cost recovery in public hospitals, to increase resources in the public sector, while at the same time attempting to ensure appropriate access to health care for those without means to pay. In a multi-case design, this study compares two neighbourhoods of different socioeconomic status comprising 10 households, representing urban districts in three provinces. In-depth interviews were conducted over a 1-year period with three visits to each household. Members of the households were interviewed on their perceptions and utilization of health care services. Focus group discussions of public providers and individual interviews of private providers, leaders of the villages and hospital administrators provided complementary perspectives. The study found that both socioeconomic groups utilized private health services as their first choice, including private clinics and treatment abroad for those with high socioeconomic status, while the low socioeconomic group preferred private pharmacies. The unwelcoming attitudes of health staff and procedural barriers have led both groups to meet their health care needs in the private sector. Here the health care they receive is strictly limited to what they can pay for. For the poor, in most cases, this means drugs alone, i.e. no examination, no diagnosis and only limited advice. Limited financial resources often means receiving inappropriate and insufficient medication. Equity in health care remains theoretical rather than practical and the social goals of the reform have not been achieved.

National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:norden:org:diva-3786 (URN)12477744 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2015-02-10 Created: 2015-02-10 Last updated: 2015-02-10Bibliographically approved
9. Economic transition and maternal health care for internal migrants in Shanghai, China.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Economic transition and maternal health care for internal migrants in Shanghai, China.
2002 (English)In: Health Policy and Planning, ISSN 0268-1080, E-ISSN 1460-2237, Vol. 17 Suppl, 47-55 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Economic migration and growth in informal employment in many of the major cities of developing countries, combined with health sector reforms that are increasingly relying on insurance and out-of-pocket payment, are raising concerns about equity and sustainability of economic and social development. In China, the number of internal migrants has dramatically grown since economic transition started in 1980, and maternal health care for these is a pressing issue to be addressed. To provide information for policy-makers and health administrators, a medical records review, a questionnaire survey and qualitative interviews were carried out in Minhang District, Shanghai. This paper describes important inequities in main maternal health outcomes and utilization indicators relating to economic and social transformation of the Chinese society. Analysis of the data collected clarifies that insufficient antenatal care is one of the main determinants for poor maternal health outcomes and that migrants are using antenatal care services significantly less than permanent residents. The data suggest that there is no single explanatory factor, but that migrants are faced with a package of obstacles to accessing health care services, and that health systems may need to rethink and redesign their delivery approaches to specifically target those groups that are faced with such multi-faceted packages of obstacles to service-access. Although the study addresses a specific Chinese phenomenon related to internal migration and registration of residency, parallels can be drawn to other settings where a combination of economic and social transitions of the society and a reform of health care financing are potentially creating the same conditions of significant inequalities.

National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:norden:org:diva-3787 (URN)12477741 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2015-02-10 Created: 2015-02-10 Last updated: 2015-02-10Bibliographically approved
10. Cost recovery beds in public hospitals in Indonesia.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Cost recovery beds in public hospitals in Indonesia.
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2001 (English)In: Health Policy and Planning, ISSN 0268-1080, E-ISSN 1460-2237, Vol. 16 Suppl 2, 10-8 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A policy of allowing public hospitals to provide some better quality, higher priced hospital beds for those able to pay was introduced as government policy in Indonesia after 1993. A study was conducted in 1998 in three public hospitals in East Java to investigate if the policy objective of cost-recovery was being achieved. Hospital revenue from these commercial beds was less than both the recurrent and total costs of providing them in all three hospitals, but exceeded recurrent costs minus staff salaries in two hospitals. One reason for the low cost-recovery ratios was that between 55% and 66% of the revenue was used as staff incentives, mostly to doctors. This was more than the maximum of 40% stipulated in the policy. The high proportions of total revenue going to staff were a result of hospital management having set bed fees too low. The policy may be contributing to the retention of doctors within public sector employment; however, it is not achieving its stated objective, especially over the longer term where full recovery of salaries and investment costs needs to be considered. Public hospitals that wish to invest in commercial beds need effective management and accounting systems so as to be able to monitor and control costs and set fees at levels that recoup the costs incurred. Further research is required to determine if this form of public-private mix has negative effects on equity and access for poorer patients.

National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:norden:org:diva-3785 (URN)11772986 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2015-02-10 Created: 2015-02-10 Last updated: 2015-02-10Bibliographically approved
11. Revenue-driven in TB control--three cases in China.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Revenue-driven in TB control--three cases in China.
2004 (English)In: International Journal of Health Planning and Management, ISSN 0749-6753, E-ISSN 1099-1751, Vol. 19 Suppl 1, S63-78 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

One quarter of all TB cases occur in China, which, during the past 20 years has moved from a planned economy to a socialist market economy. In the health sector, an important proportion of the financing originates from user payment. TB control is not an exception and different programmatic models are in place. This study examines, using a case study approach, three different TB programmes, one supposed to provide free service, one subsidized service and one with full cost recovery. The aim was to better understand the driving forces for programme performance in terms of case detection, case management and patient payments. The study found for all models that control and case management approaches were, to some extent, adapted to generate maximum income to the providers. The drive for income led to fewer cases detected, administration of unnecessary procedures and drugs, and a higher than necessary cost to the patients. The latter possibly leading to exclusion of poor people from the services. If user charges are to stay, TB control programmes need to be designed to take advantage of the financial incentives to improve performance. The referral system needs to be restructured, not to provide disincentives for good practices.

National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:norden:org:diva-3793 (URN)10.1002/hpm.778 (DOI)15686061 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2015-02-10 Created: 2015-02-10 Last updated: 2015-02-10Bibliographically approved

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