Netcare Disputes Oxfam Report Over Hospital Costs in Lesotho

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Netcare Ltd. (NTC), a private hospital operator in South Africa and the U.K., said its venture in Lesotho was a “success story” after an Oxfam report alleged it was draining the country’s health resources.

Netcare, which owns 40 percent of a group that won a contract six years ago to build, finance and run the Queen Mamohato Memorial Hospital in the capital Maseru, said the cost is about 35 percent of Lesotho’s health budget in the year through March. Oxfam said the figure was 51 percent, adding that the public-private partnership contributed the bulk of a two-thirds increase in government health spending.

“The project was designed to be flexible enough to ensure affordability for Lesotho,” Chris Smith, general manager for finance at Johannesburg-based Netcare, said in a telephone interview last week. “Any cost driver to government is from increased demand, but they get value for it.”

Source: Bloomberg (link opens in a new window)

Health Care
governance, public-private partnerships