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Private Health Sector


The Institute has been actively studying various aspects of the private health sector, with special emphasis on standards and quality assurance. A computerized database (Andhra Pradesh health Institutions Database) of health institutions in AP has been set up in 1993 with 3,000 records. Currently the data base has 19,824 HCI’s listed in it. The APHIDB is an effort to make comprehensive information available about HCIs in a structured way.

The IHS was commissioned[1] by the AP First Referral Health Systems Project (APFRHSP), to take stock of the private health sector in Andhra Pradesh and identify appropriate policy choices for their overall development. A comprehensive report[2] on the private health sector in AP and policy recommendations regarding the private sector has been brought out. Although the studies and workshops were organized in the context of Andhra Pradesh state, the issues, findings and solutions proposed here are relevant to the health systems of all states in India as well as many other developing countries.

The IHS was commissioned by the Government of India under World Bank funding to map the structure and dynamics of the private health sector and the implications for India ’s health policy. [3]  Based on the findings of the study number of policy recommendations were made. The recommendations include: utilization of private hospitals and nursing homes capacity to increase incidence of institutional deliveries; developing public health standards; encouraging partnerships with nonprofit agencies; substantial increase in allocation of government expenditure to health sector; streamlining and expansion of fiduciary social security services; streamlining licensing mechanisms for health care professionals and creating licensing mechanisms for health care facilities, strengthening public sector hospitals to respond to hospitalization needs of the poor; voluntary accreditation and facilitation of incentives to encourage accreditation.

The Institute is connected with voluntary accreditation agencies elsewhere in the world, including the American Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organisations (JCHAO). IHS personnel have spent time with hospitals in the USA to study about their accreditation and quality assurance practices. Research at the IHS on health care quality assurance started with studies[4],[5] to assess the demand for quality assurance of services and the need for accreditation system.

The Institute is currently implementing two public –private partnership projects with Government of AP for Prevention of Waterborne Diseases in about 800 Urban Slums of Hyderabad and monitoring water quality in the city. The presence of external monitoring and direct reporting of findings to senior most level of Board management has to a great extent ensured that lower level staff are more vigilant and prompt in carrying out their routine work. Data indicate that there has been an overall improvement in quality of water supplied and sanitation systems and decline in incidence of gastroenteritis in the slums. Further, communication of findings on a real time basis to the officers of Board ensures prompt response in taking corrective measures. The projects were commissioned by the HMWSSB and have been in operation since February 2005[6].

[1]PD APFRHSP Proc. Rc.No.2249/WB/F/98 dated 9 April, 1998.

[2] The Private Health Sector in Andhra Pradesh. Institute of Health Systems, RP01, 1998.

[3]GOI - MOHFW DO No.M-11035/7/99-BP dated 11 June, 1999 and 21st June 1999.

[4] Assessment of demand for accreditation services in Hyderabad : A pilot study. IHS Working Paper 1994; 6:1-14.

[5] Situation review and analysis of accreditation system in India . IHS Working Paper 1998;21

[6]Letter No. MD/HMWSSB/IHS/2004-05, Dt. 25/01/2005




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