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Addressing Social Inequality in Health Through Public-Private Partnerships: Opportunities and Challenges

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Social inequality in health is a complex issue that calls for innovative solutions. Encouragingly, public-private partnerships (PPPs) have emerged as a potentially effective strategy. However, there is a lack of clarity regarding the lessons learned from such collaborations, particularly in the context of upper-middle-income and high-income countries.

To address this gap, a systematic literature review and meta-synthesis was conducted. The Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool was employed for quality appraisal, and databases such as PubMed, PsychInfo, Embase, Sociological Abstracts, and SocIndex were searched for studies published between January 2013 and January 2023. The studies included in the review reported on lessons learned from PPPs that specifically focused on social inequality in health.

The review process involved two independent reviewers who extracted data and assessed the quality of the studies. The data was subsequently grouped into two categories: opportunities and challenges. In total, 16 studies of varying methodological quality were included in the final synthesis.

Social Inequality in Health

Advancing Social Inequality in Health: Opportunities and Challenges in Public-Private-Academic Partnerships

The findings revealed that the opportunities presented by PPPs fell into three main themes: creating synergies, clear communication and coordination, and building trust to sustain partnerships. Conversely, the challenges encountered were linked to scarce resources, inadequate communication and coordination, and concerns about distrust and conflicting interests.

In conclusion, partnerships that bring together public, private, and academic institutions have significant potential to address social inequality in health. However, for future PPPs to be successful, it is crucial that partners are aware of resource availability, promote clear communication and coordination, and take steps to address any concerns related to distrust and conflicting interests.


Original Article DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2023-076209

Original title: Opportunities and challenges in public-private partnerships to reduce social inequality in health in upper-middle-income and high-income countries: a systematic review and meta-synthesis

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