The role of the Market and the social sectors

It has been widely agreed upon that healthcare systems left to function according to market forces alone do not result in socially optimal quantity, quality or distribution of healthcare.

J.F. Outreville, The health insurance sector: Market segmentation & international trade in health services

Yet, in this proposed scheme, the private sector plays a pivotal role in healthcare provision. In fact, such scheme opens the doors wide open to investment in the healthcare sector without compromising access to affordable services and while addressing the biggest areas of market failures in the healthcare sector.

By being responsive to the community needs expressed through the different micro-insurance units, the market can provide service bundles, health management schemes, packages of preferred providers and facilities and micro-insurance supportive services. Innovative business can invest in the new set of community needs that will erupt as well as in the more structured organization of the private and public resources in the healthcare sector.

At the end of the day, this proposed system returns the choice of services and providers directly to the patient and to the community and therefore, the market dynamics have better chances of moving things forwards.

Social sector role

The social and civil sector has an important role in the implementation of this system. NGOs, faith-based organizations, syndicates and local communities are best placed for the education, spread, implementation and administration of the micro-insurance component.


E. Morelli, G.A. Onnis, W.L. Ammann, C. Sutter (Eds), Micro insurance – An Innovative tool for risk and disaster management, Global Risk Form GRF Davos, Davos, 2010

The Ottawa Charter: Health promotion, 1st International conference on Health promotion, Ottawa, World Health Organization,1986

D. Dror, C. Jacquier, Micro-insurance: Extending health insurance to the excluded, International Social Security Review, 2001, P. 15

The Bamako Initiative, Women’s and children’s health through funding and management of essential drugs at community level, World Health Organization, 1986

J.F. Outreville, The health insurance sector: Market segmentation & international trade in health services, 1998, P. 111-124