How a public-private healthcare partnership threatens to bankrupt Lesotho

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  • Author: Oxfam
  • Copyright: Oxfam
  • Date: 7 April 2014

Lesotho is one of the poorest and most unequal countries in the world. More than half of its population live below the poverty line and the poorest people are the least likely to get the healthcare they need. A quarter of people living in rural areas have to travel more than three hours to reach their nearest heath facility.

In 2011 Lesotho’s main public hospital was replaced by the Queen ‘Mamohato Memorial Hospital. It is the first of its kind in Africa because all of the facilities were designed, built, financed and are now operated under a public-private partnership. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector investment arm of the World Bank Group, advised the Lesotho government on the negotiation of the contract with the private partner. The promise to the Government of Lesotho was that the new hospital would deliver high-quality healthcare services for the same annual cost as the old public hospital.

This was the promise but our video shows why the figures just don’t stack up.

Read Oxfam's report: A Dangerous Diversion: Will the IFC’s flagship health public–private partnership bankrupt Lesotho’s Ministry of Health?

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