Asia Health Policy Program working paper #12
The principal-agent problem in health care asserts that providers, being imperfect agents for patients, will act to maximize their profits at the expense of the patients’ interests. This problem applies especially where professional regulations are lacking and incentives exist to directly link providers’ actions to their profits, such as a fee-for-service payment system. The current analysis tests for the existence of the principal-agent problem in the private health market in Vietnam by examining the prescribing patterns of the private providers. We show that
Our hypotheses were supported with evidence from Vietnam National Health Survey 2001 and 2002, the first and, so far, only comprehensive health survey in the country.