Does it matter who owns health facilities? Academic Article uri icon


  • The rhetoric of governments 'steering not rowing' and of purchaser-provider splits is still part of the language of public sector reform throughout the world, despite some retreat in the National Health Service in the UK. Implementation of separation of purchaser and provider roles has often been associated with suggestions that the private sector is better able to manage hospitals. The evidence for this assertion is mixed, especially when possible quality differences are also considered. This essay suggests that the ownership question is a second-order issue and that policy-makers should ensure that existing public hospitals are funded in a way that encourages efficiency.

publication date

  • January 2001