The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Trade Out of Poverty, the APPG for Debt, Aid and Trade and IDS co-hosted a meeting in parliament examining how governments, businesses, practitioners and academics can collaborate more effectively to ensure that health markets in developing countries work better for the world’s poorest communities.Read More
At the end of June, the UK Parliament’s International Development Committee heard oral evidence about the UK Department for International Development’s (DFID’s) efforts to improve health systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). But why do health systems matter? And what is health systems strengthening anyway? Here are the top things you need to know. Click through to original post on Buzzfeed.Read More
Is the health system response out of sync with the demands of the islanders in the Indian Sundarbans?
Five years ago, a mid-summer nightmare named Aila crashed on the Sundarbans with murderous fury and wreaked destruction beyond repair. On May 25, 2009 the tropical cyclone hit the Sundarbans in India and Bangladesh with a wind speed of 110 km/hr. Over 8,000 people went missing and more than a million were rendered homeless in the two countries. In India about 300 people were killed in Sagar Island alone in the Indian Sundarbans. Figures can scarcely do justice to record the number of homes destroyed, lives lost and livelihoods decimated.
There was a localised health system collapse in the immediate aftermath of Aila – a fact attested by the islanders loudly and by the state health policy makers privately.Read More
From ‘Basket Case’ to ‘One of the Great Mysteries of Global Health’: How did Bangladesh become such a success story?
Last week I was lucky enough to attend the UK launch of the Lancet Special Issue on Bangladesh, Innovation for Universal Health Coverage. In addition to this blog, there is also a complete Storify of the event.
Bangladesh is a fascinating case study for this type of review because, in terms of many health and social status indicators, they outperform many of their neighbouring countries despite having a lower GDP. This is particularly surprising as their health system is weak in many respects and is pluralistic, characterised by a range of health service providers from the for-profit and not-for-profit private sectors. Per capita expenditure on health care is $27 and two thirds of payments for health care are out of pocket – meaning that government investment in the health sector is very low. There are only 0.3 doctors/nurses per 1000 population. Despite this Bangladesh is one of six countries which is on-track to achieve Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 on child and maternal health.Read More
Last Friday, FHS co-hosted an event with the Institute of Development Studies and the Brighton and Sussex Medical School to help launch a recent special series from The Lancet on Bangladesh. We were pleased to welcome both FHS Research Co-Director Abbas Bhuiya, Deputy Director of icddr,b, and Mushtaque Chowdhury, Vice Chair and Interim Executive Director of BRAC.Read More
During the Health Systems in Asia conference last weekend in Singapore, I was able to identify a clear trend. No, not pluralism in Asian health systems, we already knew that one. But rather, on two of the four days the closing thoughts from different speakers involved 4Cs. In keeping with this important new trend, I’ve decided to frame my blog similarly. And so I present to you my four takeaways from the conference using the same ‘4C framework’: Confucius, context, communication, and coverage.
One of the benefits of livetweeting from the conference, is the ability to pull together a blog in relatively short order that highlights some of the key discussion points from the confence into a Storify. See our Storify from the conference below!Read More
The other week I had the good fortune of participating in an excellent meeting in Prague hosted by the Open Society Foundations: Policy Research, Technology and Advocacy Event @ the Hub. The event was designed to bring experts together from across Central and Eastern European think tanks to share ideas and learn from each other on innovative approaches to evidence-based advocacy and communications.Read More
The use of new knowledge intermediaries in the public health sphere gives rise to a host of ethical issues. These include questions about fairness of access; the quality of the technology used and information generated; who has access to and control of such information; the impact of commercial interests within a healthcare setting; and regulation across borders. How do we address all of these from within our current frameworks of ethical thinking in medicine? In fact, can we?Read More
This series of interviews with participants in a recent workshop on patient self-management hosted by IDS at the Brocher Foundation explores how information and communication technologies are being used to help people cope with chronic diseases in Cambodia, Bangladesh and Uganda. From Cambodia, we hear from Maurits van Pelt of MoPoTsyo, a patient peer group for diabetes sufferers in Cambodia. Dr Mohammed Iqbal from icddr,b talks about chronic disease clubs in Chakaria, Bangladesh. And William Roy Mayega discusses advances in Uganda on treating chronic diseases.Read More
Diagnostic categories will always be a site of contestation, often linked as much to contemporary standards of morality and normality as to medicine’s capacity to detect disease. But with the global diagnostic industry expanding to be worth $49.2 billion in 2012, and with emerging NCD markets in the BRIC countries behind much of that growth, it is timely to ask if there are developments in diagnostics that are bringing new social, moral or legal concerns to the fore. And how might these play out in the emerging markets?Read More
While health economists and actuaries may devise sophisticated models to estimate the costs and benefits of healthcare, it is not only the rich, but the majority of individuals who will insist that no price is too high to pay to delay death or reduce the disability or suffering of themselves or loved ones. However, while the rich can take care of themselves, the rest of us rely on collective risk-sharing arrangements, through various forms of insurance or social welfare schemes. Unfortunately, as advances in medical technology provide new possibilities for extending life by managing serious illness – at an ever increasing cost – the sustainability of such schemes is often called into question.Read More
On July 6th, the Private Sector in Health Symposium will convene for the third time in six years before the International Health Economics Association (iHEA) World Congress, and builds upon a well-attendedwebinar series in the run-up to the symposium.. The symposium attracts a broad spectrum of scholars from multiple disciplines. It won’t just be economists, and it won’t be a love-fest for unleashing free market economics in health care systems. The private sector in health is problematic, but we are going to have to live with it for quite some time -- so it’s a good thing so many intrepid scholars have joined forces to find ways to get the private sector to effectively deliver high quality services, to reach the poor, and to reduce the financial jeopardy for patients who access it.Read More