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Evidence Brief: Health Policies

Addressing low coverage of preventive health services and products is critical to improving health outcomes. Subsidies, information campaigns, and bringing services closer to users can be effective tools to improve utilization.

Key Points: 

  • Interventions targeting the supply and demand of health products and services shape health-seeking behavior, the accessibility and quality of health care, and, ultimately, health outcomes.
  • Research has found several promising avenues for increasing the use of health services and products, including subsidies for preventive health products; information campaigns stressing specific and actionable steps; nudges and incentives; and cash transfers.
  • The reach of health services can be improved by bringing services closer to where people live, work or study.
  • Service providers respond to incentives for attendance, outputs, and outcomes, but implementing incentive schemes in public health systems is difficult and have worked differently in different settings.
  • As issues of healthcare delivery, universal health coverage, and strengthening health systems become an increasing focus of policymakers, more research is necessary to generate evidence on what works in the evolving challenges of global health.
Pascaline Dupas
Publication Date
May, 2019