Government spending on healthcare around the world is growing at a pace that is likely to be unsustainable unless new funding sources are found and more efficient delivery methods are sought. As this reality dawns governments are increasingly looking to PPPs to solve the larger problems in care delivery that are driving spending.
Health PPPs have evolved significantly over the last 20 years. They started as a way for governments to build new or revamp crumbling hospital infrastructure in countries like the UK and Canada. More recently their scope has expanded from a primarily infrastructure oriented model to a clinical services delivery model; some projects include both. Examples of such projects can be seen in Spain, Brazil, the Caribbean and the UK.
As governments grapple with budget constraints, ageing populations, chronic disease and technological development, the need for need for alternative methods of financing and care delivery intensifies. Ultimately the scope and structure of health PPPs reflect specific needs and context. While some countries seek to add new beds, others require skills that are in short supply in the local/regional economy. For instance, PPPs have been used in the Turks and Caicos Islands and Lesotho as a way of securing access to not just infrastructure but also skills and technology.
In these two articles, we look at the rationale and drivers for healthcare PPPs and specifically how the PPP model is used in Canada and Latin America.