Publications

    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.

    Arnquist S, Weintraub R. The Indus Hospital: Delivering Free Health Care in Pakistan. Harvard Business Publishing. 2012.Abstract

    Set in Karachi, Pakistan, this case examines a private hospital's potential to impact health in a resource-constrained setting. Within Pakistan's health care system and its political, socioeconomic, and epidemiological context, the case focuses on the Indus Hospital, a charity hospital started in 2007. The case explores the effect of financing, leadership, and a mission-driven culture on health care delivery and the hospital's efforts to provide high-quality care for free to poor patients. It concludes with Indus' leaders planning how to expand their service delivery to include primary and preventative care.

    Teaching Note available through Harvard Business Publishing.

    Indus Hospital Open-Air TB Clinic
    Indus Hospital Open-Air TB Clinic. Pakistani architect Tariq Quaiser designed the Indus Hospital’s open-air TB clinic with a specialized design that optimized natural ventilation for increased airflow that effectively minimized the spread of disease. Source: Case writers.

    Learning Objectives: To understand a private hospital's potential to impact health in a resource-constrained setting, how private financing impacts health care delivery, and the impact of leadership on health care delivery.

    Supporting Content: There is a shorter version of this case titled The Indus Hospital: Building Surgical Capacity in Pakistan (Condensed Version).

    Keywords: Human rights, workforce management, sustainability, role of civil society, information systems, organizational culture

    May M, Rhatigan J. BRAC’s Tuberculosis Program: Pioneering DOTS Treatment for TB in Rural Bangladesh. Harvard Business Publishing. 2011.Abstract

    This case examines the development of a tuberculosis (TB) treatment program in Bangladesh by the non-governmental organization, BRAC, from 1984 to 2006. After providing background about Bangladesh, the burden of TB there, and BRAC, the case examines how this program was piloted and grew to cover a population of 80 million people. It details how BRAC was able to create a TB control program that utilized community health workers to perform most of its essential functions including case finding, directly-observed therapy, identification of complications, and record keeping. The case concludes with a brief summary of BRAC’s expansion to Afghanistan and recently, Africa, and asks the reader to consider the feasibility of this TB care model in other contexts and in other conditions, such as HIV/AIDS.

    Teaching Note available through Harvard Business Publishing.

    Timeline of BRAC TB Program Expansions
    Timeline of BRAC TB Program Expansions. Source: From One to Many: Scaling Up Health Programs in Low-Income Countries. Edited by Richard A Cash, A Mushtaque R. Chowdhury, George B. Smith, and Faruque Ahmed (2010). Ch 13. Islam A and May MA. Decentralized Management in the Expansion of BRAC's Rural Tuberculosis Program (DOTS). Pgs. 207-214. (Exhibit 3 in "BRAC’s Tuberculosis Program: Pioneering DOTS Treatment for TB in Rural Bangladesh" case.)

    Learning Objectives: To understand effective strategies for effectively engaging community health workers to deliver complex medical and public health interventions to large populations in low resource settings.

    Supporting Content: The sequel to this case is titled Tuberculosis in Dhaka: BRAC’s Urban TB Program.

    Keywords: Community health workers, tuberculosis control, rural nongovernmental organizations, social enterprise

    May M, Cash R, Rhatigan J. Tuberculosis in Dhaka: BRAC’s Urban TB Program. Harvard Business Publishing. 2011.Abstract

    This case examines BRAC’s experience expanding its rural TB program to the urban environment of Dhaka between 2002 and 2008. The case provides background information about Dhaka and describes what TB services existed at the time. The case then describes the expansion of BRAC’s TB program into Dhaka and details innovations in the Urban program. Students should gain an understanding of how these program modifications were a response to the specific challenges the program faced in the urban setting. The case allows an exploration of how successful health care delivery program adapt to new environments.

    Teaching Note available through Harvard Business Publishing.

    Map of Dhaka
    Map of Dhaka. Source: Available at http://www.urpnissues.com/webpage/maps/Districts/13.GIF. (Exhibit 1 in "Tuberculosis in Dhaka: BRAC’s Urban TB Program" case.)

    Learning Objectives: To understand how a successful health care delivery program that is uniquely tailored to a particular setting can adapt its operations in a new environment.

    Supporting Content: This case is a sequel to BRAC’s Tuberculosis Program: Pioneering DOTS Treatment for TB in Rural Bangladesh

    Keywords: Service delivery innovation, tuberculosis control, urban nongovernmental organizations