Zambia has experienced major economic difficulties for almost two decades. This has resulted in lowered incomes and a dilapidated social infrastructure. Despite some initial improvement in health status immediately after independence, progress has been limited and slow, and many indicators appear to have worsened in recent years. Even when its low income is taken into account, Zambia has one of the worst set of health indicators found in any country. The state took upon itself the major responsibility for providing health care to all Zambians, but has failed to do this in an effective or equitable manner. Resources are limited, and major reforms are under way to improve the whole structure and functioning of the publicly run health care system. In this context, there is renewed interest on the part of Zambian policy makers in private providers. There has been no previous comprehensive study of Zambia’s private health care providers. Nevertheless, using primarily existing data this report describes in some detail the composition and activity of the private sector, and the various factors and government policies effecting providers. It concludes by providing policy options for increasing the contribution of private providers to national health goals.