The Private Sector in Health (PSIH) Thematic Working Group examines the growing role of the non-state sector in delivering health care to people in developing countries and the related challenges and opportunities.
The private health sector is a prominent player of health service delivery and access, providing over 50% of all healthcare in Sub-Saharan Africa and over 80% of all healthcare in Asia. It is now well-accepted that many countries have mixed health systems with a wide variety of formal and informal service providers. The COVID 19 crises has shown private sector drive and innovative strength essential to health systems, calling for newer approaches to health governance, regulation and partnerships but also presents challenges in accountability, quality and participation in public health activities.
A primary aim of the group’s work is to explore and evaluate interventions to include the private sector in a constructive collaboration for reaching Universal Health Care (UHC), while avoiding negative unintended outcomes. WHO has recently emphasised the lack of systematic evidence on the factors that influence the performance of mixed health systems and on strategies to influence their provision of safe, effective and affordable health services. The TWG will focus on addressing this gap.
- Provide an interdisciplinary and inter-regional forum for researchers, students, policymakers, and international organizations to collaborate and share research evidence, methods, innovative interventions, and capacity building issues related to the operation of the private sector in health.
- Ensure that research on the private health sector is a regular feature in the global HSG conferences.
- Facilitate exchanges of research evidence to support the rapid development and adaptation of knowledge on mixed health systems.
Many TWG activities will focus on the following specific themes on which members from different regions have offered to play a leadership role:
- Design and architecture of new types of Public Private Partnerships
- Research and mutual learning on the management of mixed health systems
- Governance and regulation of the private sector for UHC.
- Role of non-profits in bridging health system capacity gaps
- Quality of care in the private sector – going beyond vertical silos and adopting new metrics
- Private sector development – scale and evolution of the private sector
- Access to data from the private sector and ethical issues
- Health financing and private sector
- Commercial determinants of health
- Private sector and resilient health systems