The World Bank's private sector arm, the IFC, today challenged Oxfam's figures that the new private hospital complex it supported in Lesotho had cost the country $67 million to run in 2013/14, or 51% of its $133 million health budget. Oxfam stands by the figures. They were provided by Lesotho's Ministry of Health among others.
Oxfam cannot see how the IFC can claim the public-private health partnersihp (PPP) cost 35% of the Ministry of Health Budget and there has been no justification of their figures.
Because the health budget has had to increase dramatically to cover this project, in real terms, the privately run hospital costs three times as much as the public hospital it replaced. This is based on IFC commissioned research.
Yesterday, World Bank president Jim Kim said the Lesotho deal was a reflection of a much bigger problem and that he is carefully looking at the deal, and at whether the Bank has the "right mix" between public and private health provision. Oxfam says the IFC should cease its support of public-private health partnerships until it has evaluated the failure of this project and can bring more evidence of the impact these deals have on reducing poverty and fighting inequality.