The recent times have witnessed rapid growth of the Indian economy and the demographics and socio-economic mix of India is constantly evolving. This constant change, mixing up and rapid growth has put immense pressure on the healthcare requirements of the country. In this regard, over the years, the public and private sectors have partnered and extended support in addressing the healthcare needs of the country. Ziqitza, one of India’s leading healthcare organisations, confirms the fact that this effective partnership between the public and private sectors has resulted in good progress on India’s key health indicators like life expectancy and infant mortality.
Ziqitza Healthcare, further states that India’s healthcare system in the current times faces challenges in terms of raising the service quality and ensuring equitable access to people, meanwhile aiming to build its capacities to effectively manage the changing disease incidence profiles. This challenge can only effectively be addressed through public private partnerships. Public private partnership (PPP) refers to an arrangement between the government and the private sector, with the principal objective of providing public infrastructure, community facilities and other related services.
The public private partnership model enables access to private sector capital and facilitates new or additional funding for health issues which will otherwise not get priority in health budgets. As per Ziqitza Healthcare ltd, the public private partnership (PPP) model in India has witnessed largely success in areas such as, education, urban development, energy and infrastructure etc, and has the potential to act as a solution enabler to India’s healthcare challenges. Ziqitza Rajasthan believes that the PPP model has the capacity to ensure universal accessibility to healthcare in India. ZHL Rajasthan, further adds that the PPP model can usher in the resources that the government needs to ensure universal healthcare to all, and the model can also create a sustainable long-term model.
Ziqitza Limited also believes the same and states that the PPP model can improve the healthcare system by channelizing the pool of corporate resources and expertise and combining it with experience and subsidies of the public sector. The below written five areas where private sector expertise can be used –
Capacity Building: Ziqitza Limited Rajasthan, explains that the private sector can leverage their corporate social responsibility funds and design social welfare programmes that aim at capacity building and training of healthcare professionals, these may include, formal, informal, para-professional and ancillary staff engaged in the delivery of healthcare.
Infrastructure Development: Rural areas in India face challenges in terms of access to primary healthcare facilities and infrastructure. The private sector and public sector can use their resources to strengthen the existing primary health centres in rural areas. Primary health centres play a crucial role in addressing the healthcare needs of the rural population. Primary health care centres can act as the first line of defence in situations like outbreak of an epidemic, they can break the chain of transmissions with early detection and control the spread. For example, the primary healthcare centres in India played a crucial role during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in making an early diagnosis, and helping the people from the vulnerable section to cope with anxiety and stress, and also reducing the demand for hospital services.
Technology: The private sector can invest in the latest technology to make healthcare accessible to the remotest of areas. For example, the private sector can develop mobile applications that can aid the people living in rural areas to book doctor’s appointments, or order medicines etc. The private sector can also mobilize mobile medical vans to remotest areas in the country which has zero to limited access to healthcare.
Ziqitza Health care limited, points out that creating an effective partnership and synergies between the public and the private sector is not an easy task. While the public sector would want to look at evidence that suggests that the proposed project by the private sector has mass viability, the private sector would want to look at community implementation and sustainability of it all. And this is precisely where the third cog in the wheel – the social organisation or the non-profits come into the picture. The non-profit organisations have the huge advantage of holding vast community outreach, and it is this local community outreach that makes them the best implementation partners of the private sector philanthropic activities. Social organisations play an absolutely important and unavoidable role within the public private partnership model. Social organizations act as the implementation partners of the social programmes on-ground and also act as the unbiased agencies that oversee the formation and ensure the sustainable functioning of the social programme.