Political analysis of rapid change in Uganda’s health financing policy and consequences on service delivery for malaria control
Waalwo Kajula, Peter
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The aim of this study was to assess the political and social dynamics resulting from the rapid change in user-fee reforms in Uganda and the effects on service delivery for malaria control. Using political mapping and political risk analysis techniques, the study analysed qualitative and quantitative data obtained from secondary data sources and key actors in the policy arena. The results have shown that the feasibility of user-fees in Uganda was undermined by the absence of strong central government leadership and strategies to manage the politics of the reforms. The resultant rapid change in policy adversely affected the recurrent expenditures of health units that previously relied heavily on cost sharing, which led to a chronic shortage of malaria drugs and undermined the ability of health facilities to hire and motivate staff. The study results demonstrate that in order to contribute positively to healthcare delivery goals for malaria control in endemic countries, user-fees require full ownership and strong political leadership by the central government. Decentralization, when merely used as a strategy to navigate the political risks associated with user-fees, is unlikely to succeed without a centrally coordinated and managed process of policy formulation and acceptance involving wider consultations and political management of interest groups.
- Medical and Health Sciences