Enhancing Healthcare Decision-Making: Comparison Between Health Technology Assessments and Access to Medical Care in a High-income Country vs. Low/middle Income Countries

Shashwati P , Arya K , Jignesh B , Guruprasad Rao KS


Background: Healthcare decision-making is a complex process that involves evaluating the value, efficacy, and accessibility of medical technologies and interventions. Health Technology Assessments (HTA) in high-income countries (HICs) have become a cornerstone of evidence-based healthcare decision-making. This systematic evaluation framework, exemplified by its robust, impartial examination of various medical technologies, plays a pivotal role in establishing the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of health technologies. In contrast, low and middle-income countries (LMICs) frequently contend with resource constraints and intricate healthcare systems characterized by fragmentation and limited access to advanced medical technologies. As formalized HTA processes may be less established, limiting comprehensive evaluations, decision-making may rely on regulatory approval, clinical guidelines, or international recommendations in LMICs. Similarly, access to medical care in high-income settings, such as the presence of universal healthcare coverage and well-developed health systems, contributes to equitable access to a wide range of medical services. In LMICs, challenges related to healthcare infrastructure, funding, and health workforce shortages hinder access to essential medical care, leading to inequities in health outcomes. This short review aims to compare the approaches to healthcare decision-making in high-income and low/middle-income countries, with a specific focus on HTAs and access to medical care.

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