Ambulatory tuberculosis treatment in post-Semashko health care systems needs supportive financing mechanisms
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AbstractThe tuberculosis (TB) control strategy in the Republic of Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan, is being changed to decentralised out-patient care for most TB patients by the Government of Uzbekistan, in collaboration with the international medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières. Ambulatory treatment of both drug-susceptible and drug-resistant TB from the first day of treatment has been recommended since 2011. Out-patient treatment of TB from the beginning of treatment was previously prohibited. However, the current Uzbek health financing system, which evolved from the Soviet Semashko model, offers incentives that work against the adoption of ambulatory TB treatment. Based on the 'Comprehensive TB Care for All' programme implemented in Karakalpakstan, we describe how existing policies for the allocation of health funds complicate the scale-up of ambulatory-based management of TB.