Commercial Sector

Advertising Agencies

If an important goal of a private health sector assessment is to create demand for specific health products, teams may want to interview a few local ad agencies to better understand existing public health campaigns and available marketing channels. View and download questions.

Commercial Banks

The financial sector, including commercial banks and micro-finance institutions, can help or hinder the growth of the private health sector. Teams often meet with commercial banks to better understand their lending practices to private health providers, the majority of whom fall into the category of Small or Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The interview should reveal not only current practices regarding extending credit to the private health sector, but also challenges, concerns and potential opportunities. View and download questions.

Importers and Commercial Distributors

Commercial importers and distributors are an important part of the private supply chain. Teams will want to ensure representation of these stakeholders in an assessment, to ascertain what products and drugs are imported, as well as difficulties due to imposed tariffs or other regulations. Distributors can also shed light on the pharmaceutical supply chain and its national reach. View and download questions.

Information Technology Companies

In recent years, information and communications technologies (ICTs) have increasingly played a role in development. mHealth (the use of mobile technology to improve health outcomes) is a primary example of an ICT initiative. Given the rapid growth of mobile technology in developing countries, mHealth is emerging as a key tool to strengthen clinical care, connect with target users, reduce isolation and fragmentation of providers, improve program management, and attract corporate partners. By gathering country-specific data on mobile phone access and use, and current and planned mHealth applications, teams can determine whether there is potential to leverage mHealth as part of their recommendations. Specific stakeholders to target during the assessment include mobile operators, software companies/mobile service providers and mobile money operators.View and download questions.

Microfinance Institutions

Micro-finance institutions (MFIs) are becoming more prevalent in many developing countries. MFIs provide loans to individuals to cover health or other expenses, and may also provide loans to small-scale health providers. A number of them also provide health insurance to their members, typically on behalf of an insurance company. Compared to commercial bank loans, MFI loans are typically smaller, with a shorter lending period. A small number of MFIs also act as underwriters for an insurance product, extending access to low-cost health insurance for the informal sector. View and download questions.

Pharmaceutical Companies

Pharmaceutical companies may have marketing offices in some developing countries, even if they don’t have a manufacturing facility. Interviews with these companies can bring to light their respective strategies, challenges they currently face, and potential opportunities for investments or partnerships. View and download questions.

Private Companies

Many companies are involved in efforts to support the health needs of their employees and surrounding communities. Employer-based health insurance is one way to meet the health needs of employees, but companies also engage in broader efforts to address the well-being of employees, their families and the community. Often referred to as corporate social responsibility (CSR), these efforts reflect a company’s commitment to contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life for their workforce and their families as well as of the community and society at large. If pertinent to the scope of the assessment, teams may want to find out what companies are active in CSR efforts related to the health area of interest, and select a few companies to interview. If a Business Coalition exists, that would be a good place to start. View and download questions.

Private Health Insurance Companies

Health financing is an integral component to provision of health services, particularly concerning the private sector. Teams almost always include private health insurance companies as part of an assessment; at the very least to ascertain the current status of the health insurance market, including what proportion of the population has private health insurance. Beyond this, teams may also wish to explore prospects for expanding private health insurance coverage to low- and middle-income populations, or consider a potential role for the private health insurance industry in light of planned national health insurance. View and download questions.

Private Medical and Nursing Schools

In light of the growing recognition of health worker shortages in many developing countries, paying attention to the production of trained health workers is important. Often overlooked are the private medical and nursing schools, which can play an important role in contributing much-needed personnel. Teams should identify any existing private institutions, and ascertain information on what degrees they offer, a profile of their student body, how they are financed, and any coordination with public sector counterparts. View and download questions.

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