Panel discussion on public vs. private sector provision of health care — 2/11/09

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Oxfam International and People’s Health Movement are organizing a panel event to discuss public sector versus private sector provision of health care services, and the available evidence on which approach leads to greater access to quality care.

When:    Wednesday February 11, 2009, 12pm

Where:   The World Bank, 1818 H Street NW, Washington DC 20433

Achieving universal access to health care and fulfilling the right to health requires a massive expansion of health services in poor countries. The critical question is how such a scale up can be achieved?  How can the world achieve health care for all?

Many health rights advocates argue that there is no alternative but to make the government health care system in poor countries work as the main provider. Some influential donors and actors on the other hand think the answer lies in mobilizing the private sector as an efficient and accountable provider. But what is the track record of both public and private providers? And what is the evidence base to support these differing theories?

This event brings together advocates from diverse perspectives to explore and critically assess the evidence available on the role of the public and private sectors in health care delivery. At the event Oxfam will also launch its new Briefing Paper ‘Blind Optimism: Challenging the myths about private health care in poor countries.’ People’s Health Movement will launch its recently published Global Health Watch 2. Other participants will also present their research and evidence on this issue.

Organised by Oxfam, with help from PHM USA, the event aims to move beyond the polarisation and frustration that so often characterizes this debate and to focus on what really works to achieve universal and equitable access to health care and fulfill the right to health.

Moderator: Stefan Nachuk, Associate Director, The Rockefeller Foundation

Anna Marriott, Health Policy Advisor, Oxfam GB
Dr. Ravi P. Rannan-Eliya, Director, Institute for Health Policy, Sri Lanka
Guy Ellena, Director, Health and Education, International Financial Corporation
Gina Lagomarsino, Managing Director, Results for Development Institute
Dr. David McCoy, People’s Health Movement

Please RSVP to Nancy Holden,

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