Performance-pay link has results for healthcare

OPINION may still be divided on the efficacy of pay-for-performance (PFP) in developed nations, but new research from Africa declares that the system is “an important tool” for improving healthcare outcomes in poorer countries.

A US study of childbirth mortality in Rwanda, published in the latest Lancet, found that the introduction of PFP in government healthcare facilities brought a 23% increase in the number of mothers giving birth in the facilities rather than at home as usually would be the case.

The scheme was also matched with a significant increase in children visiting a facility for preventive care – up 56% for those aged 23 months and younger and up 132% for those aged two years to 59 months.

The study, which compared 80 Rwandan facilities receiving PFP with 86 receiving traditional funding, found PFP had no effect on prenatal care visits or child immunisation.

Researchers from the University of California