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New open collection: The Future of Health Markets

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Future Health Systems is a research consortium working to improve access, affordability and quality of health services for the poor. We are a partnership of leading research institutes from across the globe working in a variety of contexts: in low-income countries (Bangladesh, Uganda), middle-income countries (China, India) and fragile states (Afghanistan) to build resilient health systems for the future. After a successful first five-year phase from 2006-2011 (see our success stories), we are entering a new six-year phase of research, funded mainly by UK aid.

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New open collection: The Future of Health Markets

Future Health Systems

Members of the FHS consortium launched a new open collection in Globalization and Health on the Future of Health Markets today. The special issue follows from an ongoing strand of work in FHS and with partners on health markets, especially a meeting in Bellagio, Italy, in December 2012.

As the editorial highlights:

Health markets are the subject of increasing attention, and there are a number of factors driving this. One such driver is economic growth in some LMICs, which has led to rapid market growth. Other factors include changes in views on the role of the state and markets and the emergence of diverse models of organizing service provision, particularly in emerging economies such as India. The current focus on universal health coverage and the associated expansion of health insurance may also have significant impacts on health markets. In particular, there appears to be increasing consensus that if government can finance quality services for the poor, then it matters less who provides those services. Further the growth of pooled funding for health provides significant opportunities for monitoring and improving quality of care in health markets. Finally technological change is also driving market developments.

The collection is mainly based on some work undertaken to inform the Rockefeller Foundation's strategy for engaging health markets. Papers in the series so far include:

But we hope this is just the beginning. As the editors also note:

This will be an open collection: authors are welcome to submit additional papers on the future of health markets. Papers that build on the themes and issues discussed here in the editorial and accompanying papers would be particularly appreciated, but as would papers that address different perspectives on the future of health markets – perhaps documenting trends in health markets, exploring the nature of new provider networks that are emerging, or ICT innovations to link formal and informal sector providers.

Additional articles will need to go through Globalization and Health's normal editorial processes, but if you have any ideas for further contributions, don't hesitate to get in touch.