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The purpose of this paper is to explore the readiness of contracted and non-contracted first-level healthcare facilities in Pakistan to deliver quality maternal and…
The purpose of this paper is to explore the readiness of contracted and non-contracted first-level healthcare facilities in Pakistan to deliver quality maternal and neonatal health (MNH) care. A balanced scorecard (BSC) was used as the assessment framework.
Using a cross-sectional study design, two rural health centers (RHCs) contracted out to Aga Khan Health Service, Pakistan were compared with four government managed RHCs. A BSC was designed to assess RHC readiness to deliver good quality MNH care. In total 20 indicators were developed, representing five BSC domains: health facility functionality, service provision, staff capacity, staff and patient satisfaction. Validated data collection tools were used to collect information. Pearson χ2, Fisher’s Exact and the Mann-Whitney tests were applied as appropriate to detect significant service quality differences among the two facilities.
Contracted facilities were generally found to be better than non-contracted facilities in all five BSC domains. Patients’ inclination for facility-based delivery at contracted facilities was, however, significantly higher than non-contracted facilities (80 percent contracted vs 43 percent non-contracted, p=0.006).
The study shows that contracting out initiatives have the potential to improve MNH care.
This is the first study to compare MNH service delivery quality across contracted and non-contracted facilities using BSC as the assessment framework.