Picture credit: Benjamin Hunter
People face difficult decisions when they try to access healthcare, yet they often lack reliable information with which to make those decisions. Many people instead rely on their previous experiences, advice from friends and family, and direction from doctors. These situations provide profitable opportunities for intermediaries – often described as ‘brokers’ – to guide how people use healthcare.
We examine how brokers emerge in the healthcare sector and the roles they occupy for mediating access to healthcare. Our work considers the personal strategies used to consolidate and extend brokerage roles, and the implications for how people seek healthcare. A template for our approach is set out in a recent paper on healthcare brokerage in urban slum communities in Uttar Pradesh, India.
Hunter, BM. (2018) Brokerage in commercialised healthcare systems: A conceptual framework and empirical evidence from Uttar Pradesh. Social Science & Medicine, 202:128-135