Globally, one in four private healthcare groups surveyed won’t work with governments. Whether the National Health Insurance (NHI) succeeds or fails will depend on public-private partnerships. But the scheme will have to overcome more than just money woes to get the two sectors to settle old quarrels if new research is any indication.
Under the NHI, a centralised fund will procure a package of services from both the public and private sectors on behalf of South Africans. But it’s unclear how this will work and South Africa isn’t the only country trying to figure this out. Countries such as Indonesia, Egypt and Kenya are also looking to buy services from the private sector as part of the move towards universal healthcare.
But a recent survey of 20 of the world’s biggest private healthcare providers showed many remain wary of working with governments. Collectively, these companies owned 500 hospitals and 7 000 clinics across 40 low- and middle-income coun