What features of benefit package design and purchasing arrangements within health insurance schemes promote health equity and better financial protection for the poor?

A core function of health care financing is purchasing – the process by which funds are allocated to providers to obtain health services on behalf of a population. If designed and undertaken strategically, purchasing can improve health systems performance by promoting quality, efficiency, equity and responsiveness of health service provision. Despite the important role of purchasing in health systems performance, there is limited empirical work on purchasing agreements in low and middle-income countries.

RESYST researchers aim to critically assess the performance of health care purchasers in a range of low and middle-income countries and identify factors influencing that performance. The countries included in the study are: Kenya, India, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand and Vietnam. The research will examine the relationships between different actors so as to understand the various components of strategic purchasing and the organisational environment within which it operates.

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