5.4. Private-sector involvement in TB care

In many high TB burden countries, the majority of people seek treatment from private providers not linked to the public health-care system (86). Private health-care providers are an entry point to TB care and treatment (86–88). However, people with TB may not have good-quality TB services if the NTP does not cooperate with the private sector. Health-care providers in the private sector may not be provided with information about TB or trained in the up-to-date guidance on TB diagnosis and treatment, including the use of child-friendly formulations. Additionally, patients managed in private health facilities and services are often not notified to the NTP. A wide range of private healthcare providers exist in different settings, and the services they provide vary. It is important for NTPs to recognize the different private health-care providers in the community and work with them to improve the services TB patients are receiving. Private health-care providers should particularly be educated on TB – including TB prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment and care – and should understand the importance of mandatory reporting (67). Working with professional organizations and nongovernmental organizations who also work with the private sector may help to build relationships with the private sector in providing TB care.

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