Opportunities within the health care sector discussed at JEF

Opportunities within the health care sector discussed at JEF
Updated 03 March 2016

Opportunities within the health care sector discussed at JEF

Opportunities within the health care sector discussed at JEF

JEDDAH: The health sectorial panel discussion, at the Jeddah Economic Forum, highlighted the PPP opportunities within the health care sector and the Health Ministry’s scheme on accelerating private sector participation in the Kingdom.
Panelists mentioned opportunities in primary care, public health and discussed changing the delivery of care models into an integrated system and also the different models in the construction of hospitals under the PPP concept.
The panel discussion was moderated by Gabriel Chahine — head of Health care Practice and Partner at Strategy&. Speakers in the panel included Khalid Al-Shaibani — responsible for transformation at the Ministry of Health, Wissam Ayoub — vice president of EllisDon Middle East, Dag Anderson — CEO of Diaverum and Tal Nazer — CEO of Bupa Arabia.
Highlighting the benefits of PPP in the health care sector, Anderson said, “The five areas of delivery of PPP renal care are access, faculty management and infection control, Saudization and training, medical outcome and preventive care, productivity and efficiency (opex/capex).”
Nazer highlighted the significant issues with primary care in the Kingdom are organizational issues that hinder the delivery system-wide, clinic-level issues and very poor public perception of the quality of service and care in existing facilities.
“These issues can only be addressed with significant investment and a new approach,” said Nazer. “Whilst this includes a large financial investment, it also includes a marketing to change public perception of the primary care system.”
Nazer stated that by bringing together the experience and expertise of private and public sectors, PPPs in health will address these issues by attracting investment and expertise, significantly reducing government costs.
“The rising demand will require increased spending on health care services in the Kingdom,” Nazer added. “If this burden is borne solely by the government, it will strain public budgets and perpetuate the issues faced by the current model.”
Stressing on the benefits of public/private partnerships, Nazer explained that it allows governments to leverage the skills of the private sector to improve the quality of the public health. “It also creates greater competition in health provision, providing the public sector an incentive to increase quality and provides better value for money than traditional forms of procurement.”
“PPPs are customized to individual health systems whilst staying within the government’s appetite for risk that come under four categories namely; Management contract model, lease model, Concession model and Private Finance Initiative (PFI),” he said.
Nazer highlighted the key factors for successful PPPs include completed rigorous-due diligence, all relevant stakeholders must be involved, government must create an independent governing body, and private operator must have an adequate level of autonomy and governing body’s strict assurance to PPP contracts.
He also spoke about the key steps in getting PPPs started in the Kingdom, saying that the government must define the overall health care system and address issues such as who is going to pay for care, how will PPPs fit into the overall health system, how will the government manage and organize private providers, how will the government ensure an adequate supply of private partners and how will the government manage PPPs going forward.
Ayoub discussed the Canadian experience with PPP in the health care sector.
Speaking to Arab News, Chahine said: “I think the Kingdom is in strong need to privatize its health sector because the cost of the health care system is increasing. It will reach a stage where it will become unsustainable to fund the health care system and that is why the private sector participation will be very important to curb the costs of the government.”
Commenting on how the private sector will contribute to the Saudi economy, he added, “This will play a major role on the overall economy because first, it will attract new private players in the Kingdom and second in will create many employment opportunities for the government.”