In many countries, patients with symptoms of TB, including the very poor, seek and receive care from a wide variety of health care providers - including from outside the network of national TB programme (NTP) services. Recognizing the significance of engaging these providers in addition to the traditional public health sector, in 2000 WHO launched the Public-Private Mix (PPM) approach. This approach encompasses all forms of public-private (between NTP and the private sector), public-public (between NTP and other public sector care providers) and private-private (e.g. between an NGO or a private hospital and the neighborhood private providers) collaboration to ensure provision of TB care in line with international standards. Various subsequent studies have demonstrated the positive contribution of PPM to case detection and cure rates, while reducing the financial burden on poor patients. A review of evidence indicates that PPM initiatives contributed to a 10%-40% increase in case detection . Engaging all care providers through PPM approaches and promoting the International Standards for Tuberculosis Care are now among the core components of the Stop TB Strategy and are acknowledged as essential to meet the TB-related Millennium Development Goals and reach the targets for TB control set out in the Global Plan.

The Working group on Public-Private Mix for TB care and control was established by the Stop TB Partnership's DOTS Expansion Working Group to help develop global policy on PPM and assist countries to develop and implement national policies and guidelines to engage all care providers.