Maseru, Lesotho, October 29,
2008—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, together with
a regional consortium led by health group Netcare and the government of
Lesotho, announced a landmark public-private partnership agreement to build
a state-of-the-art public hospital that will dramatically improve the quality
of medical services in the country.
The agreement was signed by Lesotho and the Netcare consortium. IFC acted
as lead advisor on this project, a pioneering public-private partnership
that serves as a model for increased private sector participation in Sub-Saharan
Africa’s overburdened health sector.
Netcare will design, build, partially finance, and operate the new hospital,
which will provide clinical services for up to 18 years from a consortium
of Lesotho doctors, service providers, and investors. The new 390-bed National
Referral Hospital will replace the aging Queen Elizabeth II Hospital, which
faces shortages of hot water, heat, medical supplies, pharmaceuticals,
trained staff, and reliable equipment.
Thanks to the innovative public-private partnership structure, operating
costs for the new hospital will be roughly equivalent to those at the existing
facility. Patients will have access to greatly improved medical services
and care, but pay the same minimal charge as they do at other public hospitals
Mphu Ramatlapeng, Lesotho’s Minister of Health and Social Welfare, said,
“This exciting project provides us with a new, advanced referral hospital
that will offer a wide range of services, specialized medical equipment,
and highly trained staff. It will also serve as the nation’s primary clinical
training facility for health professionals.”
Laurence Carter, IFC Director for Infrastructure Advisory, said, “This
pioneering project provides a new and sustainable model for governments
and the private sector to work together in providing better health services
for Lesotho and the wider region.”
The project will also refurbish three semi-urban filter clinics that, together
with the main hospital, will operate as a health network for the region.
Dr. Victor Litlhakanyane, Director of Group Stakeholder Relations at Netcare,
said, “By partnering with the Lesotho government, we will be contributing
greatly to making quality clinical services more accessible to the people.”
The project is expected to cost $100 million, which will be partly funded
by the Development Bank of Southern Africa. Construction is expected to
begin in January 2009, with projected completion of the clinics in late
2009 and the hospital in mid 2011.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to
escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic
growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development,
mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation
services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2
billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For
more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About Netcare and the Consortium
Netcare is South Africa’s foremost private hospital and health care group.
It operates the largest private hospital network in South Africa and the
United Kingdom and leads a winning consortium. The consortium, Tsepong
(Pty) Limited is comprised of Netcare (40 percent); Excel Health (20 percent),
an investment company for Lesotho-based specialists and general practitioners;
Afri’nnai (20 percent), an investment company for Bloemfontein-based specialists
and general practitioners; D10 Investments (10 percent), the investment
arm of the Lesotho Chamber of Commerce; and WIC (10 percent), a Basotho
Women investment company. For more information, visit www.netcare.co.za/live/index.php.