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Aid money is wasted on private healthcare programmes in poor countries, says Oxfam

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b667 (Published 16 February 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b667
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

    Aid money is being wasted on poorly performing private healthcare programmes that are failing to improve health in poor countries, argues the international aid agency Oxfam in a report published this week. It says that the money would be better invested in health services provided by governments.

    The report acknowledges that the private sector has a role in increasing the provision of health services but says that prioritising this approach is unlikely to deliver the improvements in health that could be achieved by developing government provided health care. It claims that a growing number of international donors are following the World Bank’s policy of investing in the private sector in the belief that public health services have failed.

    “But there are serious failings inherent in private provision which make it a very risky and costly path …

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