It is impossible to overstate the importance of healthcare — after all, economic growth and development depend on it. But the ability of governments to provide affordable, quality healthcare is increasingly challenged by the economic environment. The challenge is now to engage private partners to deliver public benefits. Innovative, forward-looking public-private partnerships in healthcare do this, giving businesses an unparalleled opportunity to do well while doing good. Many governments are turning to public-private partnerships (PPPs) to provide healthcare services for their citizens and the latest to join to line is Moldova – one of the least developed counties in Europe.
In late November 2011, Moldova’s health ministry and Magnific SRL signed a public-private partnership agreement for the provision of radiology and diagnostic imaging services in the IMSP Republican Hospital in Chisinau, which will benefit more than 100,000 patients annually. IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, advised the Ministry of Health on structuring and implementing this transaction, the first public-private partnership project in Moldova.
IMSP Republic is the main referral hospital in Moldova and has the highest demand for radiology and diagnostic imaging services in the country. This twelve-year concession involves the re-provisioning and expansion of radiology and diagnostic imaging services at the hospital, which suffered through the lack of necessary equipment for years.
"Public-private partnerships have emerged as a reasonable option to contribute to higher efficiency in the Moldovan healthcare sector," said Dr Andrei Usatii, Minister of Health of Moldova. "The PPP agreement between the Ministry of Health and Magnific SRL will allow the Republican Hospital in Chisinau to provide modern and efficient diagnostic imaging services."
Modern diagnostic equipment is essential for ensuring timely diagnosis and helps improve care while reducing costs. Magnific SRL will invest an estimated $7 million in the following equipment from Siemens: C.T. scan, MRI, digital fluoroscopy X-rays (2 machines), digital X-ray (2 machines), mobile digital X-rays (2 machines) and mobile c-arm. In addition, the company will hire on the employees currently working in the radiology section of the hospital. It has also agreed to return to the hospital five percent of its annual revenues from patients referred to the hospital.
"This agreement represents an important step in improving healthcare for Moldovan citizens and paves the way for new public-private partnership projects in the country," said Georgi Petrov, IFC Public-Private Partnerships Business Line Leader in Europe and Central Asia.
The initiative is part of IFC Advisory Services’ Public-Private Partnership program, which counsels governments on ways to engage the private sector in the provision of essential services. The program’s goal is to support economic development by expanding access to power, water, healthcare, and sanitation services.
The IMSP Republican Hospital project was implemented with the financial support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.