The Brookings Institution
I am writing to share with you a new report from the Brookings Institution that analyzes the capacity of Ethiopia, along with 17 other countries, to effectively utilize private investments in healthcare R&D.
Increased investment in public health is more important than ever. Although the public sector is critical to the financing of medical research and development, the private sector has a large role to play as well. Given the proper environment—one in which it is clear that vaccines, drugs, and diagnostics will pass regulatory, policy, and legal muster—private sector financing can be a key source of investment in healthcare innovation.
Therefore, assessing a nation’s capacity to make effective use of external resources is a critical step toward increasing private sector investment in health R&D both in that country and around the world.
In “Health Governance Capacity: Enhancing Private Sector Investment in Global Health,” authors Darrell West, John Villasenor, and Jake Schneider examine the quality of healthcare governance in a set of 18 low- and middle-income African and Asian countries, including Ethiopia. “Good governance is a foundational condition for global health investment,” the authors write. “It conditions the overall environment in which both public and private sector health investment takes place.”
The researchers empirically assess what they call “overall health governance capacity” by examining 25 indicators related to the management capacity, regulatory processes, health infrastructure and financing, health systems, and policy conditions in each of the 18 examined nations. Among their key findings are many facts that are relevant to stakeholders and policymakers in Ethiopia, such as:
- Ethiopia ranked 12th out of 18 nations on the authors’ Health Governance Capacity Index (HGCI). Its scores on each dimension are as follows:
- 14 on “Leadership and Management Capacity”
- 16 on “Health Policies”
- 12 on “Regulations”
- 11 on “Infrastructure and Financing”
- 10 on “Health Systems”
- Each dimension is scored out of 20 possible points. Thus, Ethiopia scored 63 out of 100 total possible points on the HGCI.
- Vietnam, South Africa, China, and Ghana ranked highest on the Index, indicating these nations have a strong ability to attract and leverage private investment in health R&D.
- The nations that scored the lowest received low scores on the dimensions of “Management Capacity” and “Health Systems.” Targeted efforts in those areas could significantly improve their ability to absorb new investments relevant to global health goals.
- In general, low- and middle-income countries can attract greater private investment in health R&D by increasing government transparency and stability, lowering tariffs on medical products, expediting the regulatory process for new drugs, investing in health infrastructure, and increasing government spending on health care (to the amount fiscally possible) in an efficient and targeted manner.
The authors conclude: “By boosting private investment in global health R&D, the world can achieve even more impressive gains in personal well-being and economic growth.” You can read the full analysis at https://www.brookings.edu/
Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to speak with the authors.
Communications Manager, Governance Studies
Managing Editor, Brown Center Chalkboard
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