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      Crossing the public-private sector divide with reproductive health in Cambodia: out-patient services in a local NGO and the national MCH clinic.

      The International Journal of Health Planning and Management

      Socioeconomic Factors, organization & administration, Reproductive Medicine, Public Sector, Private Sector, Maternal Health Services, Male, Humans, Health Services Research, Health Services Accessibility, Female, Developing Countries, Child Health Services, Child, Cambodia, Ambulatory Care, Adult

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          Set within the context of recent literature on the private-public divide in the health sector of developing countries generally and Asia specifically, this study considers the major government and the major indigenous non-government clinics offering out-patient reproductive health services in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Reproductive health is of critical importance in Cambodia, which has one of the highest levels of unmet need for family planning in the developing world and suffers from what is arguably the most severe STD and HIV/AIDS problem in Asia. The study is unusual in that it examines and compares aspects of service delivery and pricing along with the socio-economic profile and health-seeking behaviour of clients self-selecting services in the two settings. The socio-economic status of clients was much higher than the norm in Cambodia but did not differ significantly between the two clinics. A few service indicators suggested that the quality of care was better in the NGO clinic. Underlying variables--such as the broader mandate of the public sector institution and the significant discrepancy between public and private sector salaries--offer an obvious explanation for these differences. The Ministry of Health in Cambodia has been developing policies related to the NGO sector, which has expanded rapidly in Cambodia during the 1990s, and it is struggling to increase staff remuneration within the public sector.

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