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Can Private Hospitals Increase Access to Health Care in Developing Countries?

Since the mid-2000s, governments across Asia, Africa, and South America have enabled poor households to receive care in private facilities at substantially or fully subsidized prices. While such public-private partnerships can expand access to health care, their success depends on design and local context.

COVENTRY/KOLKATA – In recent years, governments in low- and middle-income countries have been experimenting with ways to alleviate the financial burden of high out-of-pocket costs for health care, which account for 40% of households’ catastrophic health spending. To ensure universal access, they are gradually shifting away from public provision of health care to publicly funded insurance that covers treatment at private facilities.