Thursday, October 11th, 9:00 – 10:30
ACC Main Auditorium
The Alma Ata vision was premised mostly on the idea of publicly funded health systems providing health care for all. Little thought was given to the role of private sector providers (both not-for-profit and for-profit). Yet, forty years later, billions of people continue to seek care from the private sector, which is highly heterogeneous, often weakly regulated and poorly linked to the rest of the health system. And the private sector is evolving quickly, in response to the gaps left by the public sector and the opportunities for trade and investment. There is significant opposition to the role of the private sector in providing healthcare because of concerns about quality, access and efficiency; yet the private sector can be a source of innovation, additional resources and services that are highly responsive to the needs of health service users. Accommodating the private sector within mixed health systems offers a middle way, requiring new forms of partnership, accountability and governance. This plenary will challenge participants to critically examine their assumptions about the private sector, and draw together perspectives of researchers, policymakers, activists and private sector actors to consider how the movement for universal health coverage should consider the role of the private sector in delivering and financing health care.