Partnership with Government Hospitals
Access to affordable quality healthcare is critical to economic growth and development. As governments struggle to contain deficits yet increase access to healthcare, private sector resources and expertise can complement traditional public sector approaches. The challenge is to engage private partners effectively so that public benefits can be optimized. There are many benefits to enhanced public-private cooperation in the health sector. A well-structured agreement with private operators will allow governments to more accurately plan their healthcare expenditures while increasing the impact of their budgets. For their part, individuals can look forward to better quality healthcare as a result of higher standards and improved management. Public sector budgets are often insufficient to provide the needed healthcare for their citizens. As a result, individuals in low-income countries pay close to 60 percent more proportionately than those in upper-middle income countries in out-of-pocket health expenditures. This is an expenditure that citizens in developing countries can ill afford.
An Overview of the Health Sector In Zimbabwe
At independence in 1980, the rural community was overlooked as Zimbabwe had inherited some of the worst rural-urban disparities in the provision of social services. To address this, the government invested significant amounts of money into improving health care delivery for all citizens, with expenditure in the sector growing by 80% between 1980 and 1987, effectively accounting for 2.3% of GDP (almost 3 times higher than the Sub-Saharan African average of 0.8% of GDP). Zimbabwe relied heavily on offshore and domestic borrowing to fund the national budget and with it, the health sector.
As a result of these healthcare policies, life expectancy at birth rose by nearly a decade from 54.9 years in 1980 to 63 years in 1988, with infant mortality rates failing by 80% to 49 deaths...