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Improving the Health Coverage of the Rural Poor:Does Contracting Out Medical Mobile Teams Work?


  • Julian P. Cristia

    () (Inter-American Development Bank, NW, Washington, DC 20577)

  • William N. Evans

    () (Department of Economics and Econometrics, University of Notre Dame and NBER, Notre Dame, IN, 46556)

  • Beomsoo Kim

    () (Department of Economics, Korea University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)


Low population density in rural developing country coupled with deficient infrastructure, weak state capacity and limited budgets makes increasing health care coverage difficult.Contracting-out mobile medical teams can be an adequate solution in this context. This paper examines the impact of a large-scale program of this type in Guatemala. Results indicate large impacts on immunization rates for children and prenatal care provider choices. The program increased substantially the role of physician and nurses at the expense of traditional midwives. These results suggest that mobile medical teams can increase coverage of health care services substantially in rural areas in developing countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Julian P. Cristia & William N. Evans & Beomsoo Kim, 2012. "Improving the Health Coverage of the Rural Poor:Does Contracting Out Medical Mobile Teams Work?," Discussion Paper Series 1203, Institute of Economic Research, Korea University.
  • Handle: RePEc:iek:wpaper:1203

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    Health coverage; rural; contracting-out; medical mobile;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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