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  1. 1
    Peer Reviewed

    Fees-for-services, cost recovery, and equity in a district of Burkina Faso operating the Bamako Initiative. [Prestation de services, couverture des coûts et équité dans une région au Burkina-Faso exploitant l'Initiative de Bamako]

    Ridde V

    Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2003 Jul; 81(7):532-538.

    Objective: To gauge the effects of operating the Bamako Initiative in Kongoussi district, Burkina Faso. Methods: Qualitative and quasi-experimental quantitative methodologies were used. Findings: Following the introduction of fees-for-services in July 1997, the number of consultations for curative care fell over a period of three years by an average of 15.4% at ‘‘case’’ health centres but increased by 30.5% at ‘‘control’’ health centres. Moreover, although the operational results for essential drugs depots were not known, expenditure increased on average 2.7 times more than income and did not keep pace with the decline in the utilization of services. Persons in charge of the management committees had difficulties in releasing funds to ensure access to care for the poor. Conclusion: The introduction of fees-for-services had an adverse effect on service utilization. The study district is in a position to bear the financial cost of taking care of the poor and the community is able to identify such people. Incentivesmust be introduced by the state and be swiftly applied so that the communities agree to a more equitable system and thereby allow access to care for those excluded from services because they are unable to pay. (author's)
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  2. 2

    The role of health centres in the development of urban health systems: report of a WHO Study Group on Primary Health Care in Urban Areas.

    World Health Organization [WHO]. Study Group on Primary Health Care in Urban Areas


    The WHO Study Group on Primary Health Care (PHC) in Urban Areas has written a report after examining the development of reference health centers in urban areas in various parts of the world. It considers such centers to be a potentially important way to improve urban health services. Reference health centers, with real roots in the community and good links to first level and referral level care, can address the problems of access to health care and intersectoral collaboration. Each center should be based on a general model, but its exact operation depends on local conditions and on a comprehensive situation analysis that considers social and financial factors and the level of organizational development. Each reference center should determine what needs to be done locally with local and national resources. Outside donors should only provide assistance for operational costs and a last resort. To plan services adequately, decision makers must define geographical catchment areas and travel times. These definitions must see to it that services integrate with each other vertically (with services at health post and hospital levels), and horizontally (with government, and nongovernmental, and community projects). A solid epidemiological understanding of major local health problems is essential for expanding PHC through reference health centers. This knowledge comes from an assessment of demographic, morbidity, mortality, and social data an evaluation of coverage of underserved and marginal groups. Reference health centers would be in an ideal position to gather and analyze these data. Innovative ways to obtain the resources for urban PHC are collection of user fees and close supportive links with universities and nongovernmental organizations. The Study Group looks at how reference health centers in Cali, Colombia; Manila, the Philippines; and Newark, New Jersey in the US, developed.
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  3. 3

    Hospitals and health for all. Report of a WHO Expert Committee on the Role of Hospitals at the First Referral Level.

    World Health Organization [WHO]. Expert Committee on the Role of Hospitals at the First Referral Level


    The World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Committee on the Role of Hospitals at the First Referral Level met from December 9-17, 1985, to review the role of the hospital in the broader context of a health system. The Expert Committee recognized that different strategies could be used to define the role of hospitals in relation to primary health care and that, for example, it would be possible to begin by analyzing what hospitals currently are doing with respect to primary health care, describe the different approaches being used, and then formulate guidelines to be followed by hospitals that are seeking to strengthen their involvement in primary health care. A shortcoming of this strategy is that it is based on what hospitals are already doing in particular circumstances, rather than helping people to decide what is required in a wide range of different settings. Consequently, the Expert Committee undertook to provide an analysis of primary health care, particularly in relation to the principles of health for all, to specify the components of a district health system based on primary health care, and to use this information as a basis for describing the role of the hospital at the first referral level in support of primary health care. This report of the Expert Committee covers the following: hospitals versus primary health care -- a false antithesis (the need for hospital involvement, the evolution of health services, expanding the role of hospitals, delineation of primary health care, hospitals and primary health care, and the common goal of health for all); components of a health system based on primary health care (targeted programs, levels of service delivery, and the functional infrastructure of primary health care); role and functions of the hospital in the first referral level (patient referral, health program coordination, education and training, and management and administrative support); the district health system; and approaches to some persistent problems (problems of organization and function; problems of attitudes, orientation, and training; and problems of information, financing, and referral system). The report includes recommendations to WHO, to governments, to nongovernmental organizations, and to hospitals. The Expert Committee considered that the conceptual focal point for organizational and functional integration should be the district health system encompassing the hospital and all other local health services. Further, the Expert Commitee was convinced that organizational and functional interaction (focused on the district health system) is imperative if full and effective use is to be made of the resources of the hospitals at the first referral level and if the health needs of the population are to be met.
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  4. 4
    Peer Reviewed

    Primary health care for developing countries.

    Ghosh S

    Indian Pediatrics. 1983 Apr; 20(4):235-42.

    This article discusses implementation of the Alma Ata Declaration on primary health care in developing countries, particularly in India. Tasks are outlined in the areas of health indicators, training of health personnel, allocation of resources, integration of traditional health workers, drug policy, and health delivery strategies. The success of the primary health care strategy hinges on the support of the rest of the health system and of other social and economic sectors. Each country will have to specify its own health goals and priorities within the context of overall development policies, particular circumstances, social and economic structures, and political and administrative mechanisms. The training of health personnel, which is an essential part of primary health care, should be geared to the health needs of the community rather than patterned after the health services in developed countries. In particular, greater use should be made of community health workers. Traditional practitioners represent another potential reservoir of personnel for primary health care, and their integration into the modern system of medicine should be organized. The Government of India has adopted a strategy aimed at integrating promotive, preventive, and curative aspects of health care through a decentralized approach that involves the community in planning, providing, and maintaining the health services. 580,000 community health volunteers, as well as 1 traditional birth attendant for each village, are scheduled to be trained. A subcenter with 1 male and 1 female multipurpose worker is planned for every 5000 population; a subsidiary health center staffed by a doctor, 2 health assistants, and 2 multipurpose workers is proposed for every 25,000 population; and a primary health center is proposed for every 50,000 population, with 1 in every 4 centers to be upgraded to a rural hospital. The Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) program delivers maternal and child health services at the village level. The number of ICDS projects is proposed to be increased to cover 913 of the 5011 community blocks and 87 urban slum areas by 1985.
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