Capacity planning
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Capacity Planning. Shita Dewi. Harding-Montagu- Preker Framework: Overview. Assessment. Strategy. Focus. Goal. PHSA Gather available information Identify additional needs In-depth studies. Distribution (equity) Efficiency Quality of Care. Private Sector. Grow. Harness.

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Capacity Planning

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Capacity planning

Capacity Planning


Capacity planning

Harding-Montagu-Preker Framework: Overview





  • PHSA

  • Gather available information

  • Identify additional needs

  • In-depth studies

  • Distribution(equity)

  • Efficiency

  • Quality of Care

Private Sector




  • Hospitals

  • PHC

  • Diagnostic labs

  • Producers / Distributors


  • For-profit corporate

  • For-profit small business

  • Non-profit charitable

    Formal/ Informal




Source: Adapted from Harding & Preker, Private Participation in Health Services, 2003.



  • To introduce the basic concepts underlying capacity planning

  • To outline the key elements of capacity planning

  • To review the key steps for policy makers and managers to implement capacity planning in a mixed health system

Outline of session

Outline of Session

  • Introduction

  • Key findings from developed countries

  • Examples of capacity planning

  • Discussion



What is it?

  • Capacity planning is the process of organizing decisions and actions relating to the deliverability and distribution of health care.

    Why do it?

  • Capacity planning is of crucial importance, as it determines to a large degree how health care resources are spent by shaping health service priorities, delivery systems and structures.

    Who does it?

  • National, regional or local level authorities, reflecting the various tiers of government within health systems. The distinction between these levels is not always clearcut.

    What are the types of capacity planning?

  • Strategic capacity planning

  • Operational capacity planning

Health sector variations in developed countries

Health sector variations in developed countries

  • Health care capacity planning devolved to regional level

  • Active involvement of provider organizations in the planning process

  • The extent to which planning applies to both public and private (for-profit and not-for-profit) providers usually reflects whether private providers qualify for public reimbursement of the services they provide

Country specific influences on capacity planning

Country specific influences on capacity planning

Trends in capacity planning in developed countries

Trends in capacity planning in developed countries

  • Usingsystematized care pathways as a means of characterizing the provision of health care services, including their linkage and integration with capital investment.

  • Comprehensive planning systems and the use of new measures of hospital capacity.

  • The need for linkingthe operationof hospitals with flexible financingmodels.

Key elements

Key elements

Hospital capital investment

Hospital capital investment

  • Capital investment: spending money up front on new or modernized buildings, machinery and equipment

Challenges in hospital capital investment

Challenges in hospital capital investment

  • The long time periods involved in planning, financing, construction and operation

  • The need for health facilities to be able to respond to changing health care needs and medical technologies,

  • The asymmetry between the need for rapid changes to enable the delivery of optimal care and the slow pace of change infacilities from which care is delivered poses a major challenge to the long term sustainability and effectiveness of hospitals

Lesson learned from developed countries

Lesson learned from developed countries

  • The critical nature of systematized care processes

  • The importance of the “people factor”

    • involvement of health professionals in decision-making

    • the role of inspired leadership

  • The steadily-growing role of “marketization” in health care

    • including public–private partnerships

  • The tension behind deciding on the proper setting of care

  • The need to look at “whole-system” perspectives

  • The unsolved question of measuring the true capacity of a hospital

  • Questions


    • How can capacity planning, including private sector involvement, increase coverage or quality for a specific health delivery objective in your country?

    • What are some of the main institutional or capacity constraints in your country that impede implementing capacity planning that includes the private sector?

    • What could be done in your country to address these constraints?

    Key messages

    Key Messages

    • To participate in capacity planning, it is important to identify and acknowledge the ownership form of the health system: public, private or mixed.

    • In a mixed health system, it is important to take into account private sector capacity while planning health sector development.

    • Capital investment can play an important role in designing a purchasing scheme for the private sector.

    Background readings

    Background readings

    • Ettelt, S., Nolte, E., Thomsons, S., & Mays, N., (2007). Capacity planning in health care: reviewing the international experience. Euro Observer 9:1.

    • Rechel, B., Wright, S., Barlow, J. & McKee, M. (2010). Hospital capacity planning: from measuring stocks to modeling flows. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 88632–636. doi:10.2471/BLT.09.073361.

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