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Health Aff (Millwood). 2010 Dec;29(12):2214-22. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2009.0135.

How public and private reforms dramatically improved access to dialysis therapy in Malaysia.

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Kuala Lumpur Hospital, Malaysia.


Between 1990 and 2005, dialysis treatment rates in Malaysia increased more than eightfold. Dialysis treatment reached a level comparable to rates in developed countries. This remarkable transformation was brought about in large part by the Malaysian government's large-scale purchase of dialysis services from the highly competitive private sector. This paper traces a series of public- and private-sector reforms that dramatically increased access to dialysis for patients with kidney failure from 13 per million people in the population in 1990 to 119 per million in 2005. Not all developing countries have had uniformly positive experiences with private-sector participation in health care. However, our data suggest that strong participation by the private sector in Malaysia has helped make for a stronger health care system as well as healthier patients. Yet the policy decisions that enabled the private sector to participate fully in providing dialysis have not been repeated with other medical services.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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