BHUBANESWAR: The State Government on Monday signed an agreement with International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, to improve health infrastructure through public-private partnership (PPP) mode.
As the lead transaction advisor, IFC will structure the rollout of low-cost hospitals that will offer quality health care at an affordable cost to people living in smaller towns and rural areas.
The Odisha Affordable Healthcare Project will develop a dozen hospitals with 50-200 beds each in the first phase. At its full capacity of 2,400 beds, the project will increase overall beds in the State by eight per cent and increase availability of private beds by 15 per cent.
The project is the first large and systematic rollout of hospitals under the PPP mode in the country.
“The State Government has taken the lead in developing practical and larger-impact models involving private sector to provide critically-needed health infrastructure,” said Health and Family Welfare Secretary Arti Ahuja.
This project will create affordable healthcare facilities on a decentralised model. It will provide cost-effective, quality and efficient healthcare services to ensure better health outcomes, especially for the economically disadvantaged, she said.
“IFC will bring its global expertise in PPPs and healthcare services and experience in engaging with potential investors to the project,” Ahuja added.
Apart from selecting the partner organisations, IFC will complete the tender process for construction of hospitals within a year. A target has been fixed to complete construction of hospitals within 12 months of signing of MoU with the partner organisations, said Special Secretary (PPPs) Pradeep Jena.
The project is expected to attract private investments of $30-50 million.
“Improving health outcomes in priority low-income States has been a special focus for IFC. PPPs can help create the right mix and balance society’s need for affordable public health services with the private sector’s need for reasonable returns,” said IFC’s country head Jun Zhang.
IFC has been working with the State Government to promote private sector-led growth in strategic sectors of agri-business and tourism and implemented PPP projects in sectors such as energy-efficient street-lighting and solid waste management.
The agreement was signed between H&FW, Special Secretary Nalinikant Das and Zhang in presence of Chief Secretary AP Padhi.