Under this study, a public-private partnership (PPP) was developed to help private medical practitioners (PMPs) implement a referral strategy between themselves and family planning centres. We assessed whether the PPP model was effective in increasing the use of long-acting reversible contraceptive methods (LARCMs) and acceptable to both public and private healthcare providers.
Our findings revealed the PPP model is acceptable. The uptake of LARCMs increased with the use of a systematic referral system, as well as when the PMPs were in regular contact with and/or had their clinics either in or near the health centres that provided the family planning services. PMPs were more likely to refer patients to family planning centres if they were sure that their incentives would be properly disbursed. Additionally, it was apparent pharmacists and paramedics play an important role for motivating patients towards particular family planning methods. Communication between the PMPS and family planning centres is important to ensure continuous referral of patients for family planning services.
A policy brief was published based on the findings from the study which is available online.