MSH Author Contributes to New Book on Social Reinsurance

Management Sciences for Health's William Newbrander has contributed two chapters on establishing microinsurance at the community level to the recently released Social Reinsurance: A New Approach to Sustainable Community Health Financing (2002) edited by David M. Dror and Alexander S. Preker and published by the World Bank and the International Labour Organization.

Social Reinsurance shows how the underlying idea of social insurance can be made operational in countries without the capacity to finance or organize large-scale systems. Many of the 1.3 billion poor people in low- and middle-income countries do not have access to the basic health services and have no financial protection against the cost of illness. To help pay for these services, governments often use a combination of broad-based general revenues, contributions from the formal labor force, and user fees. However, these mechanisms are not always effective in many developing countries.

Offering 22 chapters by 30 contributors, Social Reinsurance details community-based approaches to insuring people against medical risk based on average risk and improving access to health care for poor people. The book also discusses other measures to strengthen microinsurance-based community financing programs. Dr. Newbrander's chapters, co-authored with Logan Brenzel, discuss ways to link ability and willingness to contribute to microinsurance and how to create a favorable market for microinsurance at the community level.

William Newbrander is a health economist with 19 years of experience in health policy reform, health financing, and hospital administration. He joined MSH in 1992 after serving with the World Health Organization for eight years in Papua New Guinea, Thailand, and Switzerland. In March 2002, Dr. Newbrander left his role as Director of the Center for Health Reform & Financing to join MSH's Afghanistan Health Services Enhancement Project, which is based in Kabul, Afghanistan. Dr. Newbrander holds a PhD in Health Economics from the University of Michigan, and has authored or co-authored six books on health reform, health care access, health care financing, private health sector growth, and decentralizing health program management. Two of his most recent books were reviewed in 2002:

"Taken together, these two publications [Ensuring Equal Access to Health Services and User Fees for Health Services] provide a thorough and readable guide to an important area of health policy in developing countries. They are balanced, on the advantages and disadvantages of user fees, and eminently practical."-Sophie Witter, International Programme, Centre for Health Economics, University of York, UK, in Health Economics 11:181-182 (2002)

These and other books by Dr. Newbrander are available through MSH's eBookstore.