HA NOI (VNS)— Public-private partnership (PPP) in the health sector should take more account of human resources and healthcare practices, said Luong Ngoc Khue, director of the Ministry of Health's Department of Medical Service Administration.
During a PPP workshop in Ha Noi yesterday, Khue said that projects had so far focused on developing hospital infrastructures at the expense of medical programmes.
"Experience from regional countries show that PPP should be invested in supplying medical services and improving its quality and effectiveness," he said.
He suggested PPP should give priority to hospital logistics services, developing a satellite hospital model, transmitting technology to grassroots levels and improving hospital management.
Khue gave examples of PPP programmes in other regional countries. These included preventive medicine, malaria prevention, washing hands to prevent diarrhoea, training human resources and supplying logistics services.
Meanwhile, Pham Le Tuan, director of the Ministry of Health's Department of Planning and Finance, said the lack of guidance in PPP implementation in the health sector over the last two years had hindered development of the model.
"The PPP model should play an important role in sharing the financial burden and help to strengthen service quality, however, the only basis for the model is the Prime Minister's Decision 71 issued in 2010, but no detailed guidance to implement the decision was promulgated," Tuan said.
Moreover, regulations on the procedures for conducting a PPP model were complicated and did not agree with the present legal system, whereas the structure to use State budget money in PPP projects was not clear enough.
Tuan said Viet Nam also lacked funds and human resources for researching and conducting PPP "This meant that some PPP projects proposed last year were impossible to achieve," he added.
Tuan said that ministries and localities should establish forces of workers specialised in PPP. "Most of countries that have succeeded in applying PPP have set up departments specialising in PPP in state agencies," he said.
He suggested that a specific amount be spent from the State budget to prepare for pilot PPP projects, adding that priority should be given to those with high potential of returning capital.
US Ambassador David Shear told the workshop that: "To build partnerships, understanding and trust between government agencies and business must continue to mature. Dialogue, including critical exchanges on technical, regulatory and policy, must continue and be incorporated into technical working-group models."
Through these partnership, the Government and business will work together to provide solutions to address priorities for Viet Nam's health sector, he said.
According to the Department of Planning and Finance, more than 30,000 private clinics and more than 100 private hospitals with nearly 6,000 sick beds, make up two per cent of the total number of sick beds in the country.
The country has already mobilised more than VND3.2 trillion (US$150 million) from PPP funds. Most of it was spent in hospitals in HCM City and hospitals directly under the Ministry of Health.
There are about 70 foreign backed projects in the health sector with total investment of less than $1 billion, according to the latest report from the Ministry of Planning and Investment. – VNS