The Private Health Care Sector and the Provision of Prenatal Care Services in Latin America

Jul 2009
Private providers have become an important source of health care in Latin America, yet there is still little documentation on them, especially regarding their role as providers of preventive and public health interventions. This paper uses Demographic and Health Surveys from various Latin American countries to compare the effectiveness of the private and public sectors in providing prenatal care. Although the number of prenatal visits is higher in the private sector, this is not accompanied by better delivery outcomes. We discuss different strategies to improve the role of private providers.