Despite the presence of government-provided healthcare services in the majority of low-and-middle income countries, many patients turn towards private sector providers, who are often perceived as providing higher quality, more convenient services. These private small-scale providers include non-profit and for-profit health clinics, local pharmacies, high-end hospitals, and even traditional healers. This proliferation of small-scale providers does help respond to patient needs and demands, but also contributes to confusion and fragmentation in mixed market health systems. When public and private health entities operate separately, the added administrative burden of coordinating contracts, purchasing supplies and services, and organizing patient care between the two sectors results in an ineffective system with hidden costs.
However, organizations that link the public and private sectors and yield gains for individual patients and health systems overall do exist, and can be strengthened even further. With research conducted through the Center for Health Market Innovations (CHMI), Results for Development (R4D) is pleased to release the latest brief on these intermediary organizations. “Intermediaries: The Missing Link in Improving Mixed Market Health Systems?” details the role of organizations who connect public sector goals with private sector actors.