17 Oct PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS PROVIDING SUPPORT
Public-Private Partnerships Providing Support
The need for concerted collaborations or public-private partnerships (PPP) is forever present in the health sector, both domestically and globally. Access to essential health services is an important aspect of development. One of the targets for the third Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) is ensuring healthy lives and the promotion of the well-being of every citizen. The SDG plans further extend to include achieving universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health care services, and access to safe, effective, and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.
South African law defines a public-private partnership as a contract between a public sector institution and a private party, in which the private party assumes a substantial financial, technical and operational risk in the design, financing, building and operation of a project.
Our government plays a central role in the provision and regulation of health care. However, there is an increasing recognition that, on its own, the government cannot deliver enough services to achieve universal health coverage and meet South African’s needs. All players in the health area, including the private sector, need to be involved if South Africa is to deliver universal health coverage and meet the SDG on health before 2030.
Through innovations such as mobile healthcare clinics and PPPs, primary healthcare is now being made available to more people, including those living in peri-urban, remote and rural areas.
The latter donated the services of a mammography machine to Innovo, allowing the delivery of innovative services to women who would otherwise not have the ability to screen their breast for breast cancer.
This partnership has allowed Innovo Mobile Healthcare to extend screenings to now include both cervical and breast cancer screening.
By offering screening and treatment facilities to the various communities in which we operate, we will be able to decrease the burden faced by central and district hospitals.
According to the Department of National Treasury, despite the success of the PPP model in South Africa, the number of new project transactions has declined over the past six years, decreasing from an estimated R10.7 billion in 2011/12 to R5 billion in 2017/18, mainly as a result of delays and cancelled projects in the health and security sectors. In addition, increasingly restrictive international regulatory requirements on banks are limiting their ability to provide debt funding.
But PPP transactions are expected to increase from R5 billion in 2017/18 to R6.4 billion in 2020/21.
Governments under increasing budgetary pressure are looking to public-private partnerships (PPPs) as a way to expand access to higher quality health services, leveraging capital, managerial capacity, and know-how from the private sector.