The private sector plays a significant role in delivering health care to people in developing countries. By some estimates, more than one-half of all health care—even to the poorest people—is provided by private doctors, other health workers, drug sellers, and other non-state actors. This reality creates problems and potential. By and large, developing-country health policy and donor-supported health programs fail to address the problems, or capture the potential of the private sector in health. Interest is growing, within the donor community and among policymakers in developing-country governments, to find ways to work with the private sector to accelerate progress toward high-priority health objectives.
However, governments in many low- and middle-income countries lack the essential skills and tools (for example, public-private partnership guidelines) to do this effectively. Recognizing this constraint to health-system development, the Center for Global Development (CGD) convened a working group to design a practical way for donors and technical agencies to support successful public-private interactions, focusing on the design of an advisory facility. The working group's report shows why and how governments can partner with the private sector to expand access to high-priority health services to underserved populations.
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