Medical practice: defendants and prisoners.
It is argued in this paper that a doctor cannot serve two masters. The work of the prison medical officer is examined and it is shown that his dual allegiance to the state and to those individuals who are under his care results in activities which largely favour the former. The World Health Organisation prescribes a system of health ethics which indicates, in qualitative terms, the responsibility of each state for health provisions. In contrast, the World Medical Association acts as both promulgator and guardian of a code of medical ethics which determines the responsibilities of the doctor to his patient. In the historical sense medical practitioners have always emphasized the sanctity of the relationship with their patients and the doctor's role as an expert witness is shown to have centered around this bond. The development of medical services in prisons has focused more on the partnership between doctor and institution. Imprisonment in itself could be seen as prejudicial to health as are disciplinary methods which are more obviously detrimental. The involvement of medical practitioners in such procedures is discussed in the light of their role as the prisoner's personal physician. (+info)
Donor funding for health reform in Africa: is non-project assistance the right prescription?
During the past 10 years, donors have recognized the need for major reforms to achieve sustainable development. Using non-project assistance they have attempted to leverage reforms by offering financing conditioned on the enactment of reform. The experience of USAID's health reform programmes in Niger and Nigeria suggest these programmes have proved more difficult to implement than expected. When a country has in place a high level of fiscal accountability and high institutional capacity, programmes of conditioned non-project assistance may be more effective in achieving reforms than traditional project assistance. However, when these elements are lacking, as they were in Niger, non-project assistance offers nothing inherently superior than traditional project assistance. Non-project assistance may be most effective for assisting the implementation of policy reforms adopted by the host government. (+info)
The duration of non-rodent toxicity studies for pharmaceuticals. International Conference on Harmonication (ICH).
At the present time, there are no uniform standards for the duration of non-rodent chronic toxicity studies. The European Union (EU) requires a 6-month non-rodent study. In Japan, a 6-month study is sufficient for most, but not all, compounds. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) maintains its standard duration of 12 months for non-rodents, with 6-month studies accepted for some clinical indications on a case-by-case basis. To achieve harmonization on the duration of non-rodent toxicity studies, each member regulatory region (EU, U.S., and Japan) of the International Conference on Harmonization (ICH) collected non-rodent studies with significant new toxicological findings that had occurred after 6 months. An ICH expert working group was organized that included representatives from the regulatory authorities of each ICH region, to jointly review all available case studies for the purpose of arriving at a consensus on the best duration time for non-rodent toxicity studies. Eighteen case studies were identified and evaluated (16 original cases plus 2 additional FDA cases); most of the toxicities identified fell into the following categories: (1) toxicities identified at 6 months; (2) toxicities observed at 12 months, which were absent or considered isolated and not noteworthy findings at 6 months; (3) drug-related deaths or morbidity that occurred between 6 and 12 months, with a pattern of toxicity that permitted the interpolation of findings to an intermediate interval between 6 and 12 months; and (4) a shift in the dose response for toxicity with increasing duration of drug exposure. Of the 18 cases evaluated, 11 supported a study-duration of 9-12 months, 4 supported a duration of 12 months, and the 3 remaining cases indicated that a 6-month study would be adequate. The working group concluded that there was sufficient evidence to support a harmonized 9-month duration for non-rodent toxicity studies, which would be applicable for most categories of pharmaceuticals. (+info)
Keeping a tight grip on the reins: donor control over aid coordination and management in Bangladesh.
A long-standing consensus that aid coordination should be owned by recipient authorities has been eclipsed by accord on the desirability of recipient management of aid along-side domestic resources. Nonetheless, in many low and lower-middle income countries, donors remain remarkably uncoordinated; where attempts at coordination are made, they are often donor-driven, and only a small proportion of aid is directly managed by recipients. This paper draws on evidence from an in-depth review of aid to the health sector in Bangladesh to analyze the systems by which external resources are managed. Based on interviews with key stakeholders, a questionnaire survey and analysis of documentary sources, the factors constraining the government from assuming a more active role in aid management are explored. The results suggest that donor perceptions of weak government capacity, inadequate accountability and compromised integrity only partially account for the propensity for donor leadership. Equally important is the consideration that aid coordination has a markedly political dimension. Stakeholders are well aware of the power, influence and leverage which aid coordination confers, an awareness which colours the desire of some stakeholders to lead aid coordination processes, and conditions the extent and manner by which others wish to be involved. It is argued that recipient management of external aid is dependent on major changes in the attitudes and behaviours of recipients and donors alike. (+info)
Rehabilitating health services in Cambodia: the challenge of coordination in chronic political emergencies.
The end of the Cold War brought with it opportunities to resolve a number of conflicts around the world, including those in Angola, Cambodia, El Salvador and Mozambique. International political efforts to negotiate peace in these countries were accompanied by significant aid programmes ostensibly designed to redress the worst effects of conflict and to contribute to the consolidation of peace. Such periods of political transition, and associated aid inflows, constitute an opportunity to improve health services in countries whose health indicators have been among the worst in the world and where access to basic health services is significantly diminished by war. This paper analyzes the particular constraints to effective coordination of health sector aid in situations of 'post'-conflict transition. These include: the uncertain legitimacy and competence of state structures; donor choice of implementing channels; and actions by national and international political actors which served to undermine coordination mechanisms in order to further their respective agendas. These obstacles hindered efforts by health professionals to establish an effective coordination regime, for example, through NGO mapping and the establishment of aid coordinating committees at national and provincial levels. These technical measures were unable to address the basic constitutional question of who had the authority to determine the distribution of scarce resources during a period of transition in political authority. The peculiar difficulties of establishing effective coordination mechanisms are important to address if the long-term effectiveness of rehabilitation aid is to be enhanced. (+info)
Managing external resources in Mozambique: building new aid relationships on shifting sands?
The Mozambican health sector is recovering from war and general disruption. This massive endeavour is supported by several donor agencies, which contribute a substantial proportion of national health expenditure. The final years of the war and the transition period have seen an extreme fragmentation of the health sector. To correct it, serious efforts to coordinate the plethora of aid agencies and related external inputs have taken place. This paper reviews the actors present on the Mozambican health scene and their interactions. The existing aid management mechanisms are described and their effectiveness appraised. The factors affecting both the process and its outcomes are analyzed. Given the prevailing complexity, this research presents a number of tentative conclusions. First, the evidence suggests that coordination efforts have paid off. However, progress has required intense and sustained work. Incremental approaches, where donor demands are progressively raised as the system is strengthened, have been crucial. The initiative has come mainly from donors, with the Ministry of Health receptive and reactive. When the recipient administration has been able to take advantage of donor initiatives, success has ensued. Individual people have been crucial in shaping the process. Critical factors contributing to positive developments on both sides of the donor-recipient relationship have been frankness, risk-taking and a long-term perspective. (+info)
Small fish in a big pond? External aid and the health sector in South Africa.
Since a new government was elected in 1994, South Africa has become a favoured nation for the many bilateral and multi-lateral agencies providing aid to developing countries. Despite several relatively large pledges of 'transition support', however, external resources constitute less than 2% of the annual government budget. This non-dependence has established a degree of equilibrium in a relationship normally regarded as highly unequal in other African countries. Although international donors funded the antiapartheid movement in South Africa prior to 1994, the new government inherited a chaotic administration that had little institutional experience of conventional development aid. Many of the new cadres entering government had not been exposed to the workings of government, let alone donor, bureaucratic processes. It is not surprising, therefore, that in the first few years after 1994, the aid relationship was characterized by low disbursements, unrealistic expectations and a degree of conflict. Since 1997, however, aid supported projects have started to become more visible. Within the broad objective of supporting transformation of the health system, one of the key areas of donor support is managerial capacity development, particularly of district, hospital and provincial health structures. These initiatives tend to be poorly coordinated, a problem compounded by a quasi-federal system in which provinces have large amounts of autonomy. The contribution of donor aid to strengthening the health system could be enhanced by the establishment of a clear national framework to guide the many externally supported projects building managerial skills and systems. (+info)
Managing external resources in the health sector: are there lessons for SWAps (sector-wide approaches)?
Drawing on the case studies presented in this issue, from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Mozambique, Zambia and South Africa, and examples from other countries, this paper asks what general conclusions can be drawn about the management of external resources, and specifically what lessons could inform the future implementation of sector-wide approaches (SWAps) in the health sector. Factors constraining the management of aid by ministries of health are grouped under three themes: context and timing, institutional capacities and the interplay of power and influence in negotiations over aid. Two factors, often underplayed, were found to be important in facilitating management of resources: the inter-relationship of formal and informal relationships, and the extent to which incremental changes are tolerated. The main conclusion is that coordination and management of external resources is inherently unstable, involving a changing group of actors, many of whom enjoy considerable autonomy, but who need each other to materialize their often somewhat different goals. Managing aid is not a linear process, but is subject to set-backs and crises, although it can also produce positive spin-offs unexpectedly. It is highly dependent on institutional and systemic issues within both donor and recipient environments. In promoting sector-wide approaches the key will be to recognize context-specific conditions in each country, to find ways of building capacity in ministries of health to develop and own the future vision of the health sector, and to negotiate a realistic package that is explicit in its agreed objectives. The paper ends with identifying crucial actions that will enable ministries of health to take the lead role in developing and implementing SWAps. (+info)