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Plenary reviews successful public-private partnerships in the Republic of Korea and India

02 Nov 2019

Greater collaboration between the public and private sectors yields results, with innovation and creativity providing solutions to the challenges, said speakers in the third and final plenary today.

In Korea, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), a ‘public-private mix’ model of care achieved improved tuberculosis (TB) treatment rates and decreased the number of people lost to follow up in both public and private health sectors. This model largely eliminated the gaps between the two sectors.

Prior to this, the private sector experienced high costs, high ‘loss to follow-up’ rates for people with TB, and inappropriate diagnosis and treatment was common for people needing TB care.

This conceptual public-private partnership framework was piloted, and a TB elimination plan was agreed, followed by the full launch in 2009.

In India, another public-private partnership significantly increased the percentage of people suspected to be going undiagnosed for TB in India. Two doctors from Medanta Hospitals, Dr Bornali Datta and Dr Naresh Trehan, shared how by partnering with NGOs and linking people to government assistance schemes took TB programmes from passive case finding, to enhanced case finding, to point of care diagnosis, and ultimately active case finding, with five mobile screening vans covering 21 districts of the state of Haryana. The intervention is ongoing, but so far results have been impressive, with total screening, use of x-rays, and patients taking DOTS showing very significant increases. Corporate partners were engaged by both The Union and Unitaid, and have been a critical element in the success of the project, demonstrating good work done, high process adherence and impactive results.

Standardisation across public and private sectors needs to be addressed, and the Korean case study shows this is achievable. Effective partnerships between the private and public sector providers can harmonise care, and further efforts to successfully undertake the work required to end TB.

View the plenary.

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