The public hospitals account for the largest share in the healthcare system of the world, the maximum amount of the responsibility lies upon the shoulders of the government sector to provide efficient medical services to the population. But after the many changes in every spectrum of human spheres such as increasing population, urbanization, the outset of new chronic diseases, growing pollution and much more there was huge pressure on the resources and management of government health organizations. As a consequence of this, the public health sector has become inadequate to provide proper health services.
To overcome these obstacles, the mechanism of public-private partnerships were used to mobilize additional resources and support for health activities. The World Health Organization (WHO) considered these partnerships with civil society organizations, philanthropic foundations and the for-proﬁt private sector as key to the future of global health. Supporters of public-private partnerships believe these partnerships could help address speciﬁc cost and investment challenges faced by the government and improve efﬁciency and quality of health services.
Since the advent of the new National Health Policy (NHP) in India, public-private partnerships have become an integral part of the health system. This new NHP policy focuses on providing skilled health management, taking up the health investment struggles of the government and administration of voluntary health services in rural and under-reserved area. In several states like West Bengal, Maharashtra and Bihar, many kinds of services such as digitized radiology, CT scan, MRI, pathology, biochemistry, dialysis services, supportive services like diet, security, and waste collection have already been outsourced and contracted through PPPs. Surgeries like cataract operations under the national health programs and management of primary health facilities are also provided. Contacts to multinational corporations like Siemens, Apollo, Ensocare and GE Healthcare have been given for service-oriented assistance.
Even though the benefits of these operations are evident, its discrepancies cannot be ignored. Private healthcare has raised financial concerns since many of private health care providers are serving the high-income group which has left the poor patients helpless. They have also refused to share patient data with the authorities in the name of ‘business secrecy’. Public sector authorities for health facilities do not oversee the working conditions of the contractual workers employed by private contractors and they face lower pay and poor working conditions.
The growing inequities requires serious attention and strong leadership in the national governments. It is incumbent for all the government agencies engaging in partnership with the private sector to set out clear goals for improving global health conditions and ensure that these goals are achieved.