Health Markets and Future Health Systems: Innovation for Equity

by Gerald Bloom with Claire Champion, Henry Lucas, M Hafizur Rahman, Abbas Bhuiya, Oladimeji Oladepo and David Peters


This article proposes an approach which explores the operation of health markets in order to help explain how health systems are changing. The authors identify potential opportunities for intervention and innovation, and guide the design of monitoring systems that can track and learn from both the intended and unintended consequences of such innovations. Different types of innovations are examined with a specific focus on two in Nigeria and Bangladesh. Given the pervasiveness of markets for health-related goods and services and the great degree to which the poor obtain medical care in these markets, the authors argue that it is time for health policymakers to take action to improve their performance, based on a systematic understanding of how these markets operate. The article also warns that it is important to understand and address market systems as a whole in order to achieve sustainable change. Interventions intended to benefit the poor need to acknowledge and take into account the influence of power and conflicts of interest on their outcome and this should be anticipated in a detailed stakeholder analysis.

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  • MLI Voices

    Jun 22 2009 - 4:25pm

    Sierra Leone

    Even though I have worked in Sierra Leone in the past, the role of MLI Country Lead has given me the opportunity to build upon these previous experiences and to work closely with members of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS), to support the implementation of health policies and reforms that they have prioritized.


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