IFC’s first health-sector public-private partnership in India is lowering medical costs.
Medical problems that should be routine can turn catastrophic when families don’t have access to hospitals with modern technology. IFC is finding novel ways to make sure the poor get the care they need, and learning from our experience so productive projects can be duplicated elsewhere.
We helped Andhra Pradesh, a state on India’s southeastern coast, boost access to advanced diagnostics by developing a unique public-private partnership to upgrade radiology services at four teaching hospitals. A consortium of Wipro-GE Healthcare and Medall Healthcare will refurbish and build facilities, install equipment, and offer services. Scans provided by the consortium will cost around half the market rate—huge savings on a service that was previously unattainable for most people in the region.
The initiative, IFC’s first health sector public-private partnership in India, is structured to maximize development impact by fusing the private sector’s expertise with public policy objectives. And it shows how PPPs can be effective beyond their traditional use in infrastructure projects. IFC’s role included the formulation of a comprehensive framework to provide direction for future PPPs, strengthening the delivery of health care services to low- and middle-income groups.
Thanks to the initiative—supported by the Dutch Technical Assistance Trust Fund—underprivileged patients in Kakinada, Kurnool, Vishakhapatnam, and Warangal will get advanced radiology services at no additional cost. We expect the initiative to serve 100,000 people a year, around 85 percent of whom live below the poverty line.
But it’s not only the patients who will benefit. Medical colleges will use the facilities to train doctors with state-of-the-art technology and techniques, helping Andhra Pradesh address its shortage of specialists, and putting it in a better position to retain skilled doctors.
The private sector has a significant role to play in health care in developing countries. In Sub-Saharan Africa, for example, private health care providers are often the only option for people living in rural areas and urban slums. Yet oversight of these providers is minimal, according to Healthy Partnerships, a report published in June by IFC and the World Bank.
We help governments forge partnerships with the private sector that can foster better funding of health care for the poor and promote more effective regulation. Healthy Partnerships, the first systematic assessment of the relationship between the public and private health sectors in 45 African countries, found that the region’s health care goals can be attained faster through the power of public-private partnerships.