Private providers typically operate in small, independent practices. Finding the right organizing structure to access these providers is one of the biggest challenges in scaling up health services. They are often isolated from training and professional development opportunities and difficult to reach in a cost-efficient manner.
Networking private providers is an effective way to expand the supply of quality health services. Through networks, and particularly social franchising, providers can achieve economies of scale in training, procurement, and marketing. Networks can facilitate the rapid expansion of coverage, improve financial access by standardizing prices, and ensure quality and brand recognition. A network can include professional medical associations, nongovernmental organizations, social franchises, and commercial enterprises.
SHOPS Plus offers technical assistance in developing a new network or improving the viability, service quality, cost-effectiveness, and scale of an existing one. The project assists individual providers within networks with business management, financial planning, and developing sound quality assurance and monitoring systems. SHOPS Plus also continues to advance knowledge on social franchises though research and development of thought pieces and technical papers.
Example of our work
In Nigeria, SHOPS Plus is working with the national TB program and private providers in Lagos and Kano states to build a network of private providers in each state, including proprietary patent medicine vendors, private laboratories, community pharmacists and clinician-owned facilities, that will rapidly increase the case detection rate for TB. Read more.