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Continuing high maternal mortality ratios, especially in Africa, and high discrepancies between richer and poorer households in relation to access to maternal health care and maternal health status have focussed attention on the importance of reducing financial barriers to skilled care. This article compares the findings of two studies on national policies(More)
BACKGROUND There is considerable interest at present in exploring the potential of social health insurance to increase access to and affordability of health care in Africa. A number of countries are currently experimenting with different approaches. Ghana's National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) was passed into law in 2003 but fully implemented from late(More)
Public-sector health workers are vital to the functioning of health systems. We aimed to investigate pay structures for health workers in the public sector in sub-Saharan Africa; the adequacy of incomes for health workers; the management of public-sector pay; and the fiscal and macroeconomic factors that impinge on pay policy for the public sector. Because(More)
BACKGROUND This article describes a survey of health workers and traditional birth attendants (TBAs) which was carried out in 2005 in two regions of Ghana. The objective of the survey was to ascertain the impact of the introduction of a delivery fee exemption scheme on both health workers and those providers who were excluded from the scheme (TBAs). This(More)
BACKGROUND There is a growing movement, globally and in the Africa region, to reduce financial barriers to health care generally, but with particular emphasis on high priority services and vulnerable groups. OBJECTIVE This article reports on the experience of implementing a national policy to exempt women from paying for delivery care in public, mission(More)
BACKGROUND It is recognized that decisions taken in the early recovery period may affect the development of health systems. Additionally, some suggest that the immediate post-conflict period may allow for the opening of a political 'window of opportunity' for reform. For these reasons, it is useful to reflect on the policy space that exists in this period,(More)
BACKGROUND The last decade has seen widespread retreat from user fees with the intention to reduce financial constraints to users in accessing health care and in particular improving access to reproductive, maternal and newborn health services. This has had important benefits in reducing financial barriers to access in a number of settings. If the policies(More)
BACKGROUND Performance-based financing is increasingly being applied in a variety of contexts, with the expectation that it can improve the performance of health systems. However, while there is a growing literature on implementation issues and effects on outputs, there has been relatively little focus on interactions between PBF and health systems and how(More)
BACKGROUND Pregnant women were offered free access to health care through National Health Insurance (NHIS) membership in Ghana in 2008, in the latest phase of policy reforms to ensure universal access to maternal health care. During the same year, free membership was made available to all children (under-18). This article presents an exploratory qualitative(More)
BACKGROUND Motivation and retention of health workers, particularly in rural areas, is a question of considerable interest to policy-makers internationally. Many countries, including Vietnam, are debating the right mix of interventions to motivate doctors in particular to work in remote areas. The objective of this study was to understand the dynamics of(More)