TitlePolicy Analysis for End-Stage Renal Disease in Jamaica
AuthorsTrisolini M., Ashley D., Harik V., Bicknell W.
PublicationSoc Sci Med. 1999 Sep; 49(7):905-20.
AbstractWe developed and applied methods for policy analysis for end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in Jamaica. Our emphasis was on methods useful for situations often found in developing countries, where both resources and data may be limited. Many countries are experimenting with ESRD treatment options, but little analysis has been done regarding how developing countries should approach policy decisions for ESRD. Methods for policy analysis in high-income countries often rely on large data sets that may be unavailable or only partially available in developing countries. We conducted technical analysis applicable in these circumstances and emphasized a process for including a wide range of policymakers and other stakeholders in both quantitative and qualitative aspects of the analysis. Our methods may also be applicable in other developing countries and for other chronic diseases. Our analysis included eight issues: (1) a review of currently available clinical and scientific understanding regarding ESRD; (2) a review of country-specific socioeconomic and clinical issues relevant to ESRD in Jamaica; (3) estimates of the magnitude of the need for treatment in the Jamaican population; (4) comparison of the need with available treatment capacity; (5) cost analysis related to options for expansion of treatment capacity; (6) comparison of costs to government budget resources and other potential sources of financing; (7) development of policy options; and (8) sensitivity testing of policy scenarios and trade-offs with competing priorities. We also identified several key decisions most developing country governments will face in setting health policy for ESRD. These include allocating funds for ESRD, identifying and selecting cost-saving clinical strategies, rationing available treatment capacity, and identifying the appropriate role for public education.