Private sector partnerships in health for development

The private sector plays a major role in improving health across the region. Most health services accessed by the poor, and health financing in Asia, is private. The Australian Government’s aid program has a track record of working with the private sector to improve health in Asia and the Pacific.

Patient getting their blood pressure checked.
New mother Rose gets a check-up at the Susa Mama health clinic, Port Moresby General Hospital, PNG. (Photo: Ness Kerton, AusAID)

Some of our current initiatives engage with the private sector to better understand health markets; support governments to address market failures in health; and drive innovation in health service delivery, quality of care, financing and research and development.

For example:

  • Product Development Partnerships (PDPs) with Medicines for Malaria Venture, Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, and the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development. PDPs are innovative public-private partnerships co-investing in the development of new drugs and diagnostic tests for use in developing countries. A pooled funding mechanism enables Australia to co-invest with other donors, global health organisations, private philanthropic organisations, and pharmaceutical companies to help bring to market diagnostic tools and medicines for tuberculosis and malaria.
  • Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is a public-private partnership which increases access to immunisation. Gavi has supported the vaccination of an estimated 440 million children in 73 developing countries, and contributed to preventing six million future deaths through innovative finance mechanisms which encourage private sector contributions. These include the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFI), which raises funds for Gavi’s programs by issuing bonds on capital markets; the Advance Market Commitment (AMC) for pneumococcal vaccine; and the GAVI Matching Fund, all of which encourage private sector contributions.
  • Bloomberg – Data for Health is a partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies to significantly improve the quality of the health data on which regional governments rely when targeting public health resources. Currently, every year around the world more than 65 per cent of deaths have no documented cause, and 40 million children are born without a birth certificate. This partnership works on three tracks: improving data on births and deaths; conducting mobile phone surveys on health risk factors; and improving policymakers’ data use. It aims to reach 1.2 billion people over four years across 20 countries.
  • The PNG Industry Malaria Initiative (PIMI) works with business to mobilise private sector support for government efforts to control malaria in PNG. The Initiative aims to accelerate PNG’s malaria control program and eliminate the disease by 2050. PIMI partners are: Bank South Pacific, Medicines for Malaria Venture, New Britain Palm Oil, Newcrest Mining, Oil Search Health Foundation, Oil Search, PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, PNG Palm Oil Council, Rimbunan Hijau, St Barbara, and WR Carpenter. The PIMI works in private-public partnerships with PNG provincial administrations.

Read more about DFAT’s investment priorities: Health.

Last Updated: 26 August 2015