Policy Brief: Dual practice by health workers in South and East Asia

The latest policy brief released by the APO, Dual Practice by Health Workers in South and East Asia explores the policy implications of dual practice.

In the context of rising economic activity and weak regulation, mixed health systems that include dual practice and private health care have grown rapidly in many South and East Asian nations.

Hence governments in the region are seeking guidance on the impact of dual practice on health services and on options for its regulation.

In response, this brief provides a framework for policy and regulation options depending on the extent of private practice and of pooled pur-chasing opportunities in-country.

The framework includes three broad options: taking no action, banning or limiting dual practice, and allowing dual practice with regulation of behaviour.

The brief recommends that dual practice needs to be understood in relation to local circumstances, the potential benefits of dual practice should be acknowledged rather than prohibiting it altogether, incentives (and sanctions) should be strengthened for providers to deliver quality services in public facilities and the institutions involved in oversight and implement new forms of health sector regulation.