New ideas on the role of the state in developing countries have considerable implications for the social sectors, especially health. Certain international organizations have advocated a larger role for private sector health care providers and many developing country governments have adopted this approach. Yet, until now, very little evidence has existed about how shifting the balance between public and private roles might affect equity, and the quality and efficiency of health care.
This book presents the results from a coordinated programme of research on the private health care sector including studies carried out by Asian, African and Latin American researchers. The conceptual chapters draw upon both industrialized and developing country literature to describe the intellectual terrain, analyse the key issues and summarize experience to date.
This book will help increase understanding of the private sector, as well as illustrating the contentious issues involved in privatization. It will be useful to students and academics involved in international public health courses, and to health policy makers in developing countries.