Groundbreaking PPP Model Helps Expand Health Care for India’s Underserved

December 7, 2010 — A new IFC effort has helped India’s Meghalaya state embark on a groundbreaking initiative to establish a specialty hospital and medical college that will eventually treat 250,000 patients a year.

Five months ago, IFC approached the government of Meghalaya, a state in northeastern India that faces a number of health care challenges: few trained specialists, inadequate equipment and facilities, and hardly any managers with skills to provide high-quality, affordable services.

Now, IFC's advice is helping the government realize its vision of expanding access to medical services among the underserved through a new public-private partnership that will:

  • Launch the first specialty hospital in Meghalaya state in its capital city, Shillong
  • Allow the local population to access trained medical staff and quality health services at affordable cost
  • Train and create professional opportunities for youth looking to enter the medical field.

Rachel Kyte, IFC Vice President for Business Advisory Services, said, "Having started our work on health public-private partnerships in Andhra Pradesh, it is important for IFC to help push forward into low income states. Meghalaya has dynamic political leadership, and together the government of the state and IFC have a real chance to drive the private sector to greater development impact."

"IFC's expertise to structure this PPP and crowd-in private sector will help the state move faster by prioritizing resources and using them judiciously," said Meghalaya Chief Minister Dr. Mukul Sangma.

Sharing Experiences to Develop Private Health Care

This new PPP builds off similar experiences in Andhra Pradesh, where IFC advised the state government on expanding the service offerings of four hospitals and medical colleges to include advanced diagnostics for low-income households. Andhra Pradesh is now able to provide high-quality, cost-effective specialized medical services to over a quarter million people, and is planning a second phase to set up laboratory and research facilities.

Throughout India, IFC has been working actively in low-income states, focusing on advisory projects with the private sector in areas of agribusiness and health care. Previous initiatives in Meghalaya have helped create over 6,000 jobs.

“With this new initiative, Meghalaya has set a unique example and is a role model for other states in the country’s northeastern region,” said IFC South Asia Director Tom Davenport.