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World Bank Economist Discusses Benefits, Challenges Of Public, Private Sector Health Care

Brookings Institution’s “Future Development”: A letter to Oxfam: Reframing the questions around private-sector health care
Jishnu Das, lead economist at the Development Research Group at the World Bank and visiting fellow at the Center for Policy Research, discusses findings from a 2009 Oxfam paper on private health care in low- and middle-income countries and deconstructs the paper’s arguments against broader implementation of private health care. He writes, “I agree that it is right to argue for investments that improve public care and build state capacity. At the same time, we will not get there by downplaying the enormous challenges we face or by demonizing the private sector. … [T]he private sector provides comparable or higher quality care than the public sector, but even with public subsidies, it will be extremely hard to use this advantage to provide care for the poor” (6/7).