Journal article

Removing user fees: learning from international experience to support the process

Barbara McPake, Nouria Brikci, Giorgio Cometto, Alice Schmidt, Edson Araujo

Health Policy and Planning | OXFORD UNIV PRESS | Published : 2011

Abstract

Removing user fees could improve service coverage and access, in particular among the poorest socio-economic groups, but quick action without prior preparation could lead to unintended effects, including quality deterioration and excessive demands on health workers. This paper illustrates the process needed to make a realistic forecast of the possible resource implications of a well-implemented user fee removal programme and proposes six steps for a successful policy change: (1) analysis of a country's initial position (including user fee level, effectiveness of exemption systems and impact of fee revenues at facility level); (2) estimation of the impact of user fee removal on service utiliz..

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