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  1. 1

    Financing health services in developing countries: an agenda for reform.

    Akin J; Birdsall N; de Ferranti D

    Washington, D.C., World Bank, Population, Health and Nutrition Dept., 1986 Dec 31. 124 p.

    In the current environment of general budget stringency in developing countries, it is unrealistic to push for more public spending for health services. The answer to this health crisis is to relieve government of much of the responsibility for financing those kinds of health services for which the benefits to society as a whole (as opposed to direct benefits to the users of the service) are low, freeing public resources to finance those services for which benefits are high. The intent is to relieve government of the burden of spending on health care for the rich, freeing public resources for more spending for the poor. Individuals with sufficient income should pay for their curative care. The financing and provision of these "private" health services should be shifted to a combination of the nongovernment sector and a public sector reorganized to be more financially self-sufficient. A shift such as this would increase the public resources available for those types of health services which are "public goods" and currently are underfunded "public" health programs, such as immunization, vector control, some prenatal and maternal care, sanitary waste disposal, and health education. Also such a shift would increase the public resources available for simple curative care and referral for the poor who now only have limited access to low quality services of this nature. Government efforts to cover the full costs of health care for everyone from general public revenues have contributed to 3 sets of problems in the health systems of many countries: an allocation problem -- insufficient spending on cost-effective health activities; an internal efficiency problem -- inefficient public programs; and an equity problem -- inequitable distribution of benefits from health services. 4 policies for health financing are proposed to raise revenues for important health programs, increase the efficiency of public health services, and make the system better serve the poor. These are: charging users of public health facilities; providing insurance or other risk coverage; strengthening nongovernmental health activities; and decentralizing government health services. A table summarizes the effects of each of the 4 options for reform in alleviating health sector problems.
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  2. 2

    Ageing populations. The social policy implications.

    Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development [OECD]

    Paris, France, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD], 1988. 90 p. (Demographic Change and Public Policy)

    This is the first in a planned series of volumes published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) concerning the economic and social consequences of demographic aging in OECD member countries. "This detailed statistical analysis of demographic trends in the 24 OECD countries examines the implications for public expenditure on education, health care, pensions and other social areas, and discusses the policy choices facing governments." Data are from official sources. (EXCERPT)
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  3. 3

    International sources of financial cooperation for health in developing countries.

    Howard LM

    Bulletin of the Pan American Health Organization. 1983; 17(2):142-57.

    By direct consulation and review of published sources, a study of 16 selected official sources of international financial cooperation was conducted over the August 1979 to August 1980 period in order to assess the policies, programs, and prospects for support of established international health goals. This study demonstrated that approximately 90% of the external health sector funds are provided via development oriented agencies. The major agencies providing such assistance concur that no sector, including health, should be excluded "a priori," providing that the requesting nation conveys its proposals through the appropriate national development planning authority. The agencies in the study also were found to be supporting health related programs in all the geographic regions of the World Health Organization (WHO). An associated review of 30 external funding agencies revealed that only 5 reported providing health assistance in more than half of the countries where they provided assistance for general development purposes. Interviewed sources attributed this to the limited manner in which health proposals have been identified, prepared, and forwarded (with national development authority approval) to international agencies. In 1979 concessional development financing totaled approximately US$29.9 billion, US$24.2 billion being provided by 17 major industrial nations, US$4.7 billion by Organization of Petroleum Exporting (OPEC) countries, and less than US$1 billion by the countries of Eastern Europe. Approximately 2/3 of such concessional financing is administered bilaterally, only 1/3 passing through multilateral institutions. UN agencies receive only 12% of these total concessional development financing resources. In 1979, concessional funding for health totaled approximately US$3 billion, approximately 1/10 of which was administered by WHO and its regional offices. It is anticipated that future international funding for health in developing countries will continue to come mostly from public and private development institutions directly, rather than through WHO or UN channels. Thus, it is important to recognize that each donor has a specific programming cycle, and the donors' organizational structures and professional health staffs vary greatly. Additionally, agencies providing external assistance perceive the possibility of expediting the funding process by reducing constraints on program processing that exist in the recipient countries, and they believe that reduction of such constraints is necessary.
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  4. 4

    Gambian Primary Health Care Resource Group (First meeting, Banjul, 7 - 9 June 1982).

    World Health Organization [WHO]. Health Resource Group for Primary Health Care

    [Geneva, Switzerland], WHO, 1982. 17 p. (HRG/CRU.1/Rev.1/Mtg.1)

    In 1979, a WHO team collaborated with national personnel in The Gambia in developing a comprehensive primary health care (PHC) plan of action for the period 1980/81 - 1985/86. In his address to the legislature in August, 1980, the president declared that the plan involved the active participation of local communities and emphasized programs for health promotion and disease prevention. This monograph reports on a meeting of the Gambian Ministries of Economic Planning and Industrial Development and of Health, Labor and Social Welfare in June 1982. Improvements in rural health are a basic need. In order to provide PHC, it was fully realized that a strong supportive infrastructure was essential. The village sensitization program was considered as vital for success. Not 1 village has rejected PHC or its responsibilities. The training program for community health nurses, village health workers and traditional birth attendants was proceeding according to plan for the various levels. Recognizaing that an efficient drug supply was essential, concomitant action had been taken to reorganize the central store. Another essential element without which success could not be achieved related to provision of transport and facilities for their maintenance, so that communications could be assured with rural areas. The need for a radio network to link 6 staions and 26 sub-stations was stresses. The list of participants and the agenda are attached as are the requirements for external support for the planned provision of PHC which were considered by the participants of the meeting.
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