News Article

The Importance of PPPs Raising Awareness

By Miriam Bello | Thu, 04/02/2020 - 11:01

Part of the federal government’s actions to combat the COVID-19 outbreak include a partnership between the government and the private sector. According to a decree announced on the Nation's Official Gazette, the federal government will be able to use all the medical resources of the public, social and private sectors in the regions affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. While this measure comes as a way to confront the crisis, public-private partnerships (PPPs) should be the standard way to improve the healthcare’s system overall functioning.

According to WHO, PPPs are an effective way to capitalize on the relative strengths of the public and private sectors to address problems that neither could tackle adequately on its own. Even the UN mentions the importance of these partnerships on Goal 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. The UN actively advocates for countries to “encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships.”

A study made by BMC Public Health enlisted the arguments in favor of PPPs: these partnerships enrich the capacity, quality and reach of public health services, they help to put health in all policies, they improve self-regulation and promote sustainable business models that allow innovation in more healthful design and content of products. In addition, the immense threats to health cannot be tackled by governments alone.

In Mexico, PPPs are highly encouraged by many specialists but, other than infrastructure, there is hardly any cooperation between the public and private sectors. This subject raised more attention at the beginning of the current administration when President López Obrador promised universal healthcare for the population. Even though this initiative has the best intentions, public resources are insufficient. Right now, some of the PPPs in the healthcare sector are focused on surgical rooms of ISSSTE’s specialty hospitals. This strategy is starting to be used at IMSS, PEMEX and SEDENA hospitals. This comprehensive service scheme has been used in particular for the operation of hemodynamic or cardiology rooms that today operate with advanced technology equipment operated by the staff of each institution but owned by private companies.

PPPs would be especially beneficial regarding medical devices or equipment because, according to directives of public hospitals, it ends up being disadvantageous to own the equipment since it is already known that in a few years they become obsolete. Updating equipment demands huge investments, so working through PPPs would allow public institutions to remain technologically updated.

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst