Increasing Productivity in Developing Country Health Systems
Project ID: HS-002
There is growing international consensus that increased investment is necessary in developing countries to expand access to basic health services. At the same time, most of the targets set for developing country health spending are too high for most of them to practically reach. This project was commissioned by the Global Development Network, with funding from Merck, and developed a paper, which reviewed the issues and evidence for productivity change as a potential solution to meeting the resource gap in developing country health sectors. The study looked at archive data for health services in a range of countries in all regions of the world during the last century, and concluded that productivity change is common in health services. Moreover a more intensive analysis of selected countries showed that several successful health performers were able to scale up access to health services with only modest financial outlays, by relying on a substantial contribution from productivity improvement. The paper was presented at a specially organised session at the GDN Annual Conference, held in St. Petersburg, Russia in January 2006.