Publications

    Madore A, Rosenberg J, Dreisbach T, Weintraub R. Positive Outlier: Health Outcomes in Kerala, India over Time. Harvard Business Publishing. 2018.Abstract

    This case explores how Kerala, India developed a reputation for exemplary health outcomes despite low per capita income. After providing historical background, including the social, political, and health system factors that contributed to a culture of seeking health care, the case describes Kerala’s health system and outcomes. The case describes how the fiscal decline in the latter half of the 20th century led to decreased spending on public services, including health, creating an opening for private-sector providers to meet a growing share of the demand for health services and the impact on out-of-pocket health spending. Readers must think about how emerging health threats such as noncommunicable diseases should be addressed in the 21st century, including the health department’s response and a new initiative to increase capacity in the public health sector, including efforts to improve the quality and reliability of health data through an electronic medical record system. The case concludes with Additional Chief Secretary for Health and Family Welfare Rajeev Sadanandan wondering if the new strategy will succeed and if Kerala can maintain its status as a positive outlier in health for the decades to come.

    Teaching Note available for registered faculty through Harvard Business Publishing and the Case Centre.

    Learning Objectives: to appreciate the relationships between education, literacy, and health; what the components of a health system are; the limitations of health indicators as measures of a national health system’s effectiveness; and, the challenges of sustaining demand and maintaining the supply and quality of public health services over time.

    Key words: health care policy, universal health care, demand generation, health care delivery, health system, health outcomes, social determinants of health

    Rosenberg J, Dreisbach T, Donovan C, Weintraub R. Positive Outlier: Sri Lanka’s Health Outcomes over Time. Harvard Business Publishing. 2018.Abstract

    This case describes the development and structure of Sri Lanka’s health system, which has yielded health outcomes far superior to any of its South Asian neighbors. The case highlights factors supporting the health outcomes, including the availability of free health services to all citizens, government investment in the health workforce, and the care-seeking behavior of Sri Lankan citizens. After providing an overview of Sri Lanka’s history, geography, demographics, and economy, the case traces the evolution of the public sector health system from the precolonial era through the period of heavy investment in health from the 1930s through 1950s and on into the 21st century. The case describes the management of the system and the relationship between the national health ministry and provincial and local governments. It examines how health professionals are trained and deployed throughout the system, the supply chain, and financing. The case then examines the growing private health sector, its relationship with the public sector, and the role of innovation. After a summary of the country’s health outcomes, readers are pushed to think about what it will take to address the changing epidemiological burden to continue to boast exemplary health outcomes and provide quality health care to those who need it.

    ​​​​​​Teaching Note available to registered faculty through Harvard Business Publishing or the Case Centre.

    A productive class discussion will allow readers to appreciate the capabilities of a public payer system to improve the health of the population; the influence of the private sector in a “single payer system” and the downstream effects on demand and supply of services; the return on investment for a country offering free public medical and nursing education; and the relationship between literacy, demand generation, and health outcomes.

    Keywords: Universal health care, health care delivery, health system, health outcomes, social determinants of health.

    Madore A, Rosenberg J, Weintraub R. “Sin Taxes” and Health Financing in the Philippines. Harvard Business Publishing. 2015.Abstract

    This case traces the implementation of tobacco tax policy and health system reforms in the Philippines from 2009 to 2015 in the context of the global tobacco control movement, the economic and political influence of the Philippine tobacco industry, and the Philippine health system. After providing background on the prevalence and costs of smoking in the Philippines, the case follows the steps taken by a diverse group of actors to design, promote, and implement higher taxes on tobacco and alcohol products, the primary goals of which were to reduce smoking and raise funds to achieve universal health care. The case highlights the strategies used to counter opposition from the tobacco industry and allied politicians. It focuses on Health Secretary Enrique Ona’s efforts to support sin tax reform and how the country used the resulting revenues to try to improve health care and health insurance coverage. It ends with Ona contemplating the impact of his investments in national health insurance and public health infrastructure as a new health secretary takes his place.

    Teaching Note available through Harvard Business Publishing.

    From left to right: House of Representatives; Woman selling cigarettes
    From left to right: House of Representatives; Woman selling cigarettes. Source: Global Health Delivery Project case writers.

    Learning Objectives: A productive class discussion will allow students to appreciate the complexity and trade-offs governments may face in stimulating their economy, regulating industry, and improving public health; the importance of data in driving and sustaining policy reform; the role of financing policies and funding as tools for health system strengthening and value creation when leveraged strategically; and the potential for health to unify different actors and sectors to generate new policy and restructure fiscal and financial systems.

    Keywords: Health insurance, health care financing, tobacco control, smoking, universal health care implementation, policy, cross sector collaboration, health system reform, political leadership, management

    Arnquist S, Weintraub R. HIV/AIDS in Indonesia: Building a Coordinated National Response. Harvard Business Publishing. 2011.Abstract

    This case documents Indonesia’s progress in developing a coordinated national HIV/AIDS response. Within the context of a new democratic government, a weak civil society sector, a newly decentralized and underfunded public health system, and a religiously conservative environment, the case describes how international donors financed and directed HIV/AIDS-related efforts for the first 15 years of the epidemic. In 2006 the National AIDS Commission (NAC) was restructured and awarded funding from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID). The case documents how DFID’s flexible financing enabled the NAC to develop a single national strategy, a national monitoring and evaluation framework, and a system of local AIDS commissions. The case ends in 2009 with the NAC preparing to assume a new role as one of three Principal Recipients of the Global Fund to Fight, AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The NAC leadership must contemplate how to sustain and further the progress made in scaling up HIV prevention services while taking on new responsibilities as a Global Fund Principal Recipient.

    Teaching Note available through Harvard Business Publishing.

    Map of Indonesia Showing HIV Program Implementers, 2005
    Map of Indonesia Showing HIV Program Implementers, 2005. Source: Indonesia National AIDS Commission. (Exhibit 1 "HIV/AIDS in Indonesia: Building a Coordinated National Response" case.)

    Learning Objectives: To understand the impact of external financing, donor-driven agendas, and a national champion in creating a multisectoral response to HIV in a religiously conservative, lower middle-income country.

    Keywords: National strategy, sustainability, HIV prevention, flexible donor financing