Public Private Partnership for health in Uganda: will HSSP II deliver on the expectations?
Tashobya, Christine Kirunga
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At the inception of Uganda's second 5-year Health Sector Strategic Plan (HSSP II), this paper traces the history of the public - private partnership for health (PPPH) in Uganda, giving its justification and mandate. It also gives its current state of the art, outlining the successes scored, the challenges still faced in its implementation and current efforts being made to make it comprehensively institutionalized. The successes include the bilateral acceptance of the principle and need for partnership by both the public and private partners, the overt gestures by the public partner through direct funding of the private providers, the ceding of some responsibilities to private players, the acceptance by the private players to take on some public responsibilities using their own resources etc. The challenges include the slow formalization of the partnership, skepticism about autonomy, the stagnation of government funding, the poor understanding of the partnership at sub-national levels and poor sharing of information, among others. These challenges are now further compounded by the recent introduction of new policy reforms like fiscal decentralisation to the same local officials who do not fully appreciate the partnership and are therefore not likely to support it. The paper concludes with some useful suggestions on how these challenges may be tackled.