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[Series] Prohibit, constrain, encourage, or purchase: how should we engage with the private health-care sector?

The private for-profit sector’s prominence in health-care delivery, and concern about its failures to deliver social benefit, has driven a search for interventions to improve the sector’s functioning. We review evidence for the effectiveness and limitations of such private sector interventions in low-income and middle-income countries. Few robust assessments are available, but some conclusions are possible. Prohibiting the private sector is very unlikely to succeed, and regulatory approaches face persistent challenges in many low-income and middle-income countries.