hSNS publication in the Socio-Economic Planning Sciences Journal
Public-private partnerships in health care services: Do they outperform public hospitals regarding quality and access? Evidence from Portugal
Authors: Diogo Cunha Ferreira; Rui Cunha Marques
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.
[Bibliographic reference] Ferreira, D.; Marques, R. (2020). Public-private partnerships in health care services: Do they outperform public hospitals regarding quality and access? Evidence from Portugal. Socio-Economic Planning Sciences. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seps.2020.100798
About the journal: During the last several years, there has been substantial and important growth in the application of quantitative analysis, i.e., operations research/management science, statistics, and related arenas, to interdisciplinary problems arising in the area of socio-economic planning and development. Socio-Economic Planning Sciences is an international journal devoted exclusively to research in this important, but under-represented area. It provides a medium for research that might not appear in more specialized journals, either because of the interdisciplinary or applied character of the study, or the mathematical/quantitative nature of the research. The journal thus serves as a focus for investigations that have hitherto appeared in widely-scattered sources and/or less-than-appropriate sources. Socio-Economic Planning Sciences strongly encourages contributions dealing with applications of quantitative models and techniques to important decision problems in the service and public sectors. Of particular interest are accounts of such studies carried out in developing countries and economically emerging regions of the world. Review articles in important methodological and substantive areas are also of interest.