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Public Sector Expectations of Private Sector

Speakers:

  • Annette Dixon, Vice President, Human Development, The World Bank
  • Juan Pablo Uribe Restrepo, Minister, Health and Social Protection, Colombia
  • Ulana Suprun, Acting Minister, Health, Ukraine

Moderator:

  • Rana Mehta, Partner, PwC

With growing consensus around the need to strive for universal healthcare for all citizens, there is also growing acceptance that the public and private sectors must work together for this goal to be attained in the most cost-efficient way.

The health ministers of Ukraine and Colombia were joined by the Vice President for Human Development at the World Bank to share perspectives on where they see public healthcare systems going and what role the private sector should play on that journey.

“Right now, about half of the people on the planet don’t have access to universal health coverage and each year about 100 million people are driven into extreme poverty because of an illness in the family,” said Annette Dixon, Vice President for Human Development at the World Bank. She talked about the Bank’s Human Capital Project launched in 2018 that emphasizes the economic value of investing in human capital, as part of which 157 countries are assessed and ranked for “health and education outcomes that are critical for productivity and growth.”

Photo: Rana Mehta, Partner, PwC | Annette Dixon, Vice President, Human Development, The World Bank
“Right now about half of the people on the planet don’t have access to universal health coverage and each year about 100 million people are driven into extreme poverty because of an illness in the family.”—Annette Dixon

Addressing the challenges of extending healthcare to a country that has been at conflict with its neighbor for the past five years, Ukraine’s Acting Health Minister Ulana Suprun said this has proved to be a catalyst for positive change in the nation’s healthcare system. Responding to the internal displacement by the conflict of two million Ukrainians, the government decided to allow citizens to receive financial aid for care provided by physicians anywhere in Ukraine, rather than requiring them to go to facilities where they are resident as happened before. In 2017, the country also created a single payor national health insurance, starting with primary care, which covers private facilities too. So far, 26.5 million out of Ukraine’s 40 million population have signed up to the system in which private practices can be reimbursed by the national insurance scheme.

Photo: Ulana Suprun, Acting Minister, Health, Ukraine | Juan Pablo Uribe Restrepo, Minister, Health and Social Protection, Colombia
“This is a very big challenge for the public sector to tackle by itself—and maybe it’s an amazing opportunity for the private sector if we can find innovative ways of working together.”—Juan Pablo Uribe Restrepo

Colombia’s Health and Social Protection Minister, Juan Pablo Uribe Restrepo, noted how his country had carried out a ‘Big Bang’ reform in 1993 that instituted mandatory universal health coverage, while opting for a multiple payor system (by contrast, Ukraine has opted for a single payor system). “Many good things have happened from this. The most important is that out-of-pocket expenditure went from 30 or 40 percent [of total healthcare spending] to less than 16 percent, one of the lowest rates in all of Latin America,” he said. While Colombia does well in country-by-country rankings on healthcare, there remains a great deal of inequality in access among its citizens, he said. “This is a very big challenge for the public sector to tackle by itself—and maybe it’s an amazing opportunity for the private sector if we can find innovative ways of working together,” he added.

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