Press Releases

IFC Helps Romania Launch Public Private Partnerships for Dialysis Services

In Washington, DC:
Georg Schmidt

Phone: +1 (202) 458 2934

Washington, D.C./Bucharest November 30, 2004—The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has successfully assisted Romania’s Ministry of Health and the National Health Insurance Fund in setting up public-private partnerships for outpatient dialysis services. Four international dialysis operators were selected through public tender to take over existing dialysis centers at eight separate hospitals across the country. The winning bidders include B. Braun, Baxter, Fresenius and Gambro. They have committed a total of 12.4 million euros to modernize the dialysis facilities and expand services.

Under contracts with the National Health Insurance Fund, the private operators are required to reequip the facilities and provide approximately 200,000 outpatient dialysis treatments annually for public patients at new quality and service standards comparable to those of the EU. The contracts, totaling 20 million euros per year, will be extended on an individual basis if the operator constructs a new facility within eighteen months. All public patients will receive treatment free of charge, and the operators will be reimbursed by the NHIF under specified fee schedules.

Romania’s Minister of Health, Dr. Ovidiu Brinzan, emphasized the innovative nature of the public-private partnership: “We are fundamentally changing our role from buying supplies and equipment to buying integrated health services. This will lead to significant new investment and higher-quality treatment from international operators at a lower cost to the government.  These new partnerships are part of Romania’s larger commitment to improving the health care system in preparation for EU accession.”  

Dr. Cristian Celea, President of the National Health Insurance Fund, added, “The public-private partnership for dialysis services provides a new, more effective model to help the NHIF meet increasing demand for high-quality health care services within our global budget. IFC has provided important assistance in structuring the contracts, raising service standards, designing the tender, and attracting international operators.”

According to Bernie Sheahan, Director of IFC’s Advisory Services Department,  “This represents the fourth successful public-private partnership transaction the Ministry has implemented with IFC advisory assistance over the past two years. Public-private partnerships are an increasingly important tool for governments to improve publicly funded services while strengthening the market for private sector providers. Romania continues to be at the forefront of these pioneering transactions in the health sector, which will greatly benefit the Romanian public and the government.”

Khosrow Zamani, IFC Director for Southern Europe and Central Asia, noted, “IFC’s support to Romania for this series of transactions underlines our commitment to public-private partnerships as a means to expand the availability and quality of public services. Romania’s success in the health sector will provide a good model for the region.”

In concluding this transaction, IFC benefited from technical assistance funded by the Swiss government.

IFC’s Advisory Services Department ( provides advisory assistance, primarily to governments, on private sector participation in the provision of public services and the restructuring of state-owned enterprises. The services help establish public-private partnerships through which governments can bridge the need for increased services under budget constraints with the benefits of private sector expertise, management, and finance.

The mission of IFC ( is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FYO4, IFC has committed more than $44 billion of its own funds and arranged $23 billion in syndications for 3,143 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its own account and $5.5 billion held for participants in loan syndications.