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Private for profit providers and UHC: a panel discussion at the International Conference on Public Policy, Milan 1-3 July 2015 by Mohga Kamal-Yanni

Private for profit and UHC: a panel discussion at the International Conference on Public Policy, Milan 1-3 July 2015

In 2012, the UN General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution to encourage governments to transition towards universal access to affordable and quality health-care services. In 2013, the WHO Director-General described UHC as “the single most powerful concept that public health has to offer”.

A range of financing and delivery mechanisms have since been implemented in diverse international contexts, with limited empirical evaluation of their potential to achieve equitable access to universal health coverage. Financing health care will be negotiated as part of the Financing for Development conference in Addis Ababa in July 2015.

There is strong evidence that no country has achieved or made big strides towards achieving UHC without a strong public health system, yet the position of the private-for-profit sector in UHC reforms remains a subject of wide debate.

At the International Conference on Public Policy in Milan (1-4 July 2015), Oxfam and the University of Edinburgh are co-hosting panel discussion that seeks to examine new and existing evidence on the role of the private sector in health – and the paradigm of public- private partnerships. The session aims to enhance understanding and knowledge of the nature and scope of public-private interactions in health, and to critically evaluate the role of the private for-profit sector in health in the context of achieving UHC in low- and middle-income countries. The session will do this by:

  • Exploring a range of questions around for-profit private roles and interests in public health, focusing on UHC
  • Examining evidence on the role of the for-profit private sector in a range of health systems functions, and across different national contexts
  • Promoting discussion on theoretical and methodological frameworks that can be used to examine the implications of the private sector’s engagement with public healthcare systems

The session will have a strong focus on low- and middle-income country experiences, perspectives and debates, but will also welcome relevant evidence and experience from high-income countries.

Five papers will be presented covering the following:

  1. Achieving UHC in East and Southern Africa: What role for for-profit providers? Jane Doherty, School of Public Health, University of the Witwatersrand
  2. Changing landscape of private health care providers in India: implications for national level health policy, Indranil Mukhopadhyay, Public Health Foundation of India
  3. State insurance schemes in Karnataka and users’ experiences – issues and concerns, Asha Kilaru, independent researcher
  4. The Comprehensive health insurance scheme in Kerala: an exploratory study in Kollam district, Kerala, India, Jisha Jayasree, Jawahar Lal Nehru University
  5. Universal Health Coverage for rural communities in Nigeria:: How may patent medicine vendors be effectively engaged? Iornumbe Usar, University of Jos, Nigeria

The papers will be discussed by Dr. Mark Hellowell, University of Edinburgh and Professor Rama Baru from Jawaharlal Nehru University.

The session will be co-chaired by Anuj Kapilashrami from the University of Edinburgh and Mohga Kamal-Yanni from Oxfam. Chairs and discussants will also engage the audience through ‘question and answer sessions where panellists will reflect on substantive issues raised by the presentations, panellists’ own research and interjection from the audience.

Readers are invited to participate in the session via sending comments and questions via twitter. Please follow @MohgaKamalYanni @Akapilashrami

Look out for a follow up blog on the conclusions of the session and links to the presentations.

The research papers are available here.

 

 

 

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Global Health Check was created by Anna Marriott and is currently edited by Mohga Kamal-Yanni