Development and Application of an Analytical Framework on interventions to overcome access barriers to health services to the poor - Macquarie University Centre for the Health Economy

Development and Application of an Analytical Framework on interventions to overcome access barriers to health services to the poor - Macquarie University Centre for the Health Economy

Project overview

While World Health Organization member countries embraced the concept of universal coverage as early as 2005, few low-income countries have yet achieved the objective. This is mainly due to numerous barriers that hamper access to needed health services.

This project aims to provide an overview of the various dimensions of barriers to access healthcare in low-income countries (geographical access, availability, affordability and acceptability) and outline existing interventions designed to overcome these barriers.

These barriers and consequent interventions are arranged in an analytical framework, which is then applied to Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region countries case studies. The aim is to illustrate the use of the framework in identifying the dimensions of access barriers that have been tackled by the interventions.

Researchers

  • Pundarik Mukhopadhaya
  • Osmat Azzam, Health Economist, World Health Organization

Results

The findings suggest that a combination of interventions is required to tackle specific access barriers but that their effectiveness can be influenced by contextual factors. It is also necessary to address demand-side and supply-side barriers concurrently. The framework can be used both to identify interventions that effectively address particular access barriers and to analyse why certain interventions fail to tackle specific barriers.

The key message in this project is to give a comprehensive overview of all identified access barriers to health care and interventions to address them in low-income countries which is formulation into an analytical framework. The application of this framework enables policy makers and health planners to identify the different dimensions and aspects of barriers to access to health services, and to devise the specific intervention or combination of interventions that can best address these barriers. Conversely, the framework can assist in assessing the appropriateness of existing interventions as a means to address the identified access barriers.

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