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Blind Optimism: Challenging the Myths About Private Health Care in Poor Countries

Oxfam Briefing Paper 125, 2009

Despite the poor performance of private sector-led healthcare solutions over the past two decades, there has recently been a noticeable increase in efforts by international donors and organisations to encourage and fund an expansion of health-care by the private sector. The approach is promoted not only as a matter of ‘common sense’ but as essential to reverse the lack of progress in health-care and to save the lives of poor people. There is considerable and increasing evidence, however, that there are serious failings inherent in private provision which make it a very risky and costly path to take.

This is not to understate the scale of the challenge facing public health systems. In tackling some of these issues, there can and should be a role for the private sector, but to achieve universal and equitable access to health-care the public sector must be made to work as the majority provider.

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Rethinking Poverty: Report on the World Social Situation 2010

This report published by the United Nations looks at how to rethink poverty reduction measures, and concludes that expansion of social protection, among other measures, has to be taken seriously.

The report also mentions the importance of social pension and insurance with regards to smooth consumption over a life-time.

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Financial Inclusion Opportunities for Micro Health Insurance in Nepal

The Micro Insurance Academy and Save the Children have released a new report entitled Financial Inclusion Opportunities for Micro Health Insurance in Nepal.

This report is based on information collected in two districts of Nepal (Banke and Dhading) in early 2009 which includes a survey of 2,008 households, 40 focus group discussions (with potential beneficiaries), in addition to 51 key informant interviews with healthcare providers.

With its 150 pages rich with tables and first-hand data, this is the first published study available on the viability of microinsurance that tackle holistically and in full detail the socioeconomic status of the target population, incidence of illness and health-seeking behavior, the cost of healthcare, and the willingness to pay for health insurance in Nepal.

The full report is freely available for download from the MIA website and paper copies can be ordered by contacting mia@mia.org.in

Click here to download the report overview