Public Private Partnership (PPP) in Health Care

Posted by: on Mar 16, 2016 | No Comments

Earlier this month I participated as a speaker on a panel at the Jeddah Economic Forum. The Forum was first held in 1999 and since then has become an annual event where government leaders, business executives, and leading thinkers come together to discuss solutions to regional and international social and economic challenges.

This year the main theme was centered on public private partnerships. In many countries there is a wave of outsourcing from public to private. Private providers are many times more efficient and provide better services than the public sector. In the panel I participated on, the focus was on PPP in the health care sector.
Privatization has proven to be a highly efficient measure to bring healthcare to remote areas of Saudi Arabia, thus improving the availability and quality of state-of-the-art services for the benefit of patients. In 2013, my company Diaverum was awarded a five-year contract from the Ministry of Health timage3o care for 5,000 renal patients across the country and has since opened 15 clinics. Another 15 are planned to open this year.

It is estimated that nearly 10 per cent of the Saudi population suffer from Chronic Kidney Disease, which may ultimately lead to a need for regular dialysis treatment and is a serious condition that requires modern technology and specialist care. On average, the number of dialysis patients in the Kingdom is growing by 10 per cent per year. This is primarily triggered by diabetes and hypertension.

We work in partnership with the public sector in many countries around the world; UK, Australia, Spain and Sweden – just to name a few examples of close cooperation with the public sector. To be successful in a PPP health care environment it is important that one truly creates value for both patients and the health care systems. In our case it is about proving that we can deliver the highest possible medical outcomes, based on agreed measures and targets (agreement between the provider and the outsourcing body).

In the case of Saudi, there are 5 key areas that we deliver on in our PPP with the Ministry of Health;
One key area is to secure access for all patients in need of renal care. Patients do not want to travel further than necessary and they do not want to wait for their treatment. One of the major issues for patients all around the world is waiting time before the treatment.

The second key area relates to facility management and infection control. It is important to construct the clinics in such a way that they provide the most modern layout and equipment. Not only to ensure state of the art, but also to prevent cross contamination of infectious diseases.

The third area relates to training. To be able to increase the knowledge and professionalism, a strong focus must be put on education. This is one strong reason for choosing a private provider who has a global educational program in place for doctors, nurses and patients.

The fourth area is medical outcome and preventive care. To define ambitious medical targets and to follow up/communicate regularly is absolutely key for success in a PPP environment. With regards to preventive care, our ambition is to delay the entry into dialysis for our patients. Our nephrologists (doctors) are experts on all stages of CKD and can help to slow the down the progression of the illness by treatment and patient training. It is our strong belief that the patients who respond best to treatments are those who are well informed and well prepared. This is why early detection of chronic kidney disease is so important.

Last but not least – Productivity and efficiency. One advantage of partnering with a global pimage5rivate provider is ability to source consumables and equipment at competitive prices. The larger the volume, the better the prices. From an efficiency perspective, the provider is the one investing in buildings and equipment. The public sector thus avoids this financial commitment.

What is important, particularly in relation to the last key area is the contract time. To have a long enough PPP contract is necessary in order to recover some of the investments in the facilities. In most cases our contracts are valid for 8-10 years before a retender takes place.

Foto på Dag Andersson