Today’s ministries of health face a host of complex, costly challenges. Around the world non-communicable diseases, aging populations, and COVID-19 threaten to strain existing healthcare structures, overwhelm national healthcare budgets, and outpace existing infrastructural capacity. These crises have pushed healthcare systems to a breaking point, and—with the possible exception of COVID-19—only stand to become more dire with time.
Governments have struggled to keep up. The challenges are too costly, too complex, and they are growing too quickly. But, with cash-strapped ministries of health struggling to manage these crises, one thing has become clear: neither governments nor the private sector have the resources—financial, operational, and human—to address them alone. Increasingly, public-private partnerships (PPPs) have been used to combine the relative strengths of both the public and private sectors, enabling overextended governments to do more with less. Not only can PPPs save money, they can also serve as highly effective management structures, spurring innovation and fostering efficiency. But while their advantages are many, PPPs can also be challenging. Solutions must be negotiated, and conflicts of interest must be managed. Successful PPPs require cross-sector collaboration and interdisciplinary skillsets, and professionals who are equipped with these skillsets are—currently—few and far between. Simply put, the future of healthcare lies in PPPs, but if public- and private-sector executives are to be prepared for that future, they will need to be armed with certain skills and frameworks that they need to succeed.
To address this need, the Joint Centre has developed a cutting-edge healthcare curriculum for graduate and executive education courses emphasizing the frameworks, skills, motivations and incentives that underpin successful healthcare PPPs. This curriculum—rooted in the foundational PPP courses pioneered by Professor Alan M. Trager at Harvard Kennedy School and Johns Hopkins SAIS—combines The Bartlett’s studies of infrastructure investment, finance, and governance with healthcare issues. Further, the Centre acts as a convening mechanism, bringing together high-level executives from across borders and across sectors, including public and private sector executives, graduate students, and constituent donor organizations. Together, they will address the world’s most pressing healthcare challenges: non-communicable diseases, aging populations, and Covid-19. In the process, the Joint Centre will seek to change the way we think about healthcare to include not only medical, scientific, and public health concerns, but also infrastructural and economic ones as well.
The Centre will seek to address five key questions:
- In what ways are our current health systems insufficient, and, if they must be changed, what form should they take going forward? What needs to be done and how will it be accomplished?
- How can health systems be made more resilient? How can they be strengthened to address inequality?
- How can low- and middle-income countries “skip steps” in the development of health systems and their treatment of individuals?
- What is health as an investment? How can governments work across sectors and ministries to leverage their investments most effectively?
- How can multilateral organizations add government capacity in cross-sector healthcare partnerships?
Alan M. Trager
Alan M. Trager is the Founder and President of the PPP Initiative Ltd., where he leads an institutional, collaborative effort to address healthcare issues using public-private partnerships.
Carter B. Casady
Dr Carter B. Casady is a Lecturer in Economics and Finance at UCL and Deputy Programme Director of the MSc Infrastructure Investment and Finance. His research primarily focuses on the institutionalization and governance of public-private partnership (PPP) projects and programmes.
Ethan works to communicate clearly the complex concepts that underpin public-private partnerships. Concurrently Director of Communications for the PPP Initiative.