Addicted to Aid

Ida commented on one of our recent postings:

I get annoyed that services that are run effectively and efficiently cannot access the help they need to continue their work. I hope that your proposal for a PPP is accepted as it a great idea!

BTW: this is old programme but wondered whether you saw it http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/panorama/7738297.stm

You can link to the posting by clicking here.

This Panorama programme is almost 2 years old but sadly it is still very current.

picture inserted here, if I had any bandwidth 😦

More than 70% of healthcare services are delivered in Uganda by the Private sector (which includes for-profit, Mission and not-for-profit NGOs) and yet very little of the total Aid and, for that matter, such a small percentage of the country’s healthcare budget, ever finds it way into this sector.

Private is not bad, and just because an organisation is set as a For-Profit is not a good enough reason to shun it.

IMG is a private-for-profit employing more than 800 local people right across the organisation, from top level directors to temporary staff engaged from time-to-time when we need more maintenance or another building. We pay our own way. Our ethos is not one of “for-profit”, in fact most of our profit has been re-invested as we continue to build and develop our services. We believe in Development and Outcomes.

We run and support our own not-for-profit, NGO, called International Medical Foundation. Through IMF we reach out to thousands of Ugandans who cannot afford to access healthcare services and that includes not being able to afford services provided at public centres. Service at the latter is not “free”. You may be able to get a free consultation, if the clinical staff are present and available, but you still have to pay for tests and treatments.

Uganda needs the private sector healthcare organisations and these need to be included in overall country budgeting and in the design and planning of new Aid disbursements.

We could do more, better and faster with the right interventions and partnerships. Donor countries and organisations could help by providing access to long term borrowings at decent interest rates (as outlined recently by the IFC, World Bank). Lack of available and appropriately priced funds is a serious impediment to the growth and development of the private sector. We’re not seeking hand-outs but we do need well structured long-term finance.

We need Development not Aid.

About Kevin Duffy

Interim Management and Consulting - Global Healthcare Development. Kevin has over ten years of senior management experience in the delivery of healthcare services in Africa and South Asia. His current focus is on the strategic development of policy, guidance, and tools to help healthcare organisations achieve sustainable impact – balancing the need to become financially sustainable, with the mission of ensuring equitable access to affordable healthcare services.
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