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Public-private partnerships in health care services: Do they outperform public hospitals regarding quality and access? Evidence from Portugal

D.C. Ferreira and Rc Marques ()

Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, 2021, vol. 73, issue C

Abstract: Public-private partnerships (PPPs) are widely spread long-term arrangements between governments and strategic private partner(s). One of their objectives is to reduce the financial pressure on the public treasury with regard to new investments. PPPs have been employed within the health care sector which, in turn, carries a huge social burden. In Portugal, for instance, PPPs in health care concern bundling hospital infrastructure and clinical services management. Notwithstanding the need to ensure sustainability and efficient use of hospital resources, it is clearly compulsory to guarantee that patients receive appropriate and timely care, with maximum security, and equitable manner. Still, little or even no attention has been paid in the literature to the clinical response capacity of PPP hospitals and to the populism arguing that these entities have a lower social performance than typical public hospitals. This study uses robust benchmarking methodologies alongside recent data about Portuguese hospitals (FY2012-FY2017) to demystify this idea and to demonstrate that, actually, PPP hospitals can deliver health care services with social performance levels at least as good as public hospitals.

Keywords: Health policy; Public-private partnerships; Public hospitals; Social performance; Benefit of doubt (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.seps.2020.100798

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