Private Sector Delivery of Healthcare Goods and Services

Private hospitals, clinics, and individual providers offer a significant proportion of available health services in almost every country in the world. In developing countries, private healthcare delivery is especially important as many publicly managed health systems lack adequate infrastructure and technical capacity to meet the healthcare needs of their population. Our data page provides more information on global and country specific measures of the private sector.

Private service providers are heterogeneous, incorporating world-class hospitals, unqualified drug merchants, and the whole range of providers in between. The role of the private sector varies by level of care; in most low income countries, the private sector plays a limited role in in-patient care, and is most important for pharmaceutical sales, outpatient care, and informal services. Regardless of the level of care provided, the main issues surrounding private healthcare delivery are 1) how it is delivered, 2) how it is financed, and 3) how it is managed. Accordingly, we have organized service delivery topics into the three categories presented above: Mechanisms, Financing, and Levers of Control.

For more on how this website addresses the non-for-profit private sector, please visit our NGO page.