Uzbekistan: finger on the PPP pulse?
With a strong support for health PPP investment from external funders
Uzbekistan is moving forward with a bold Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) agenda. Strongly accompanied by the IFC, the Government purports to support complex contractual arrangements to procure infrastructure across the public policy spectrum.
As a result, international invitations to tenders mushroom for a wide range of projects across sectors. A good example of this is the influx of capital to fund the new Fergana Hospital. Decide’s friends at PPP bulletin pointed out this week that:
Located in Fergana Oblast, in the east of the country, the new project will look to consolidate a number of “outdated and single-speciality” hospitals in the region into a new and modern facility.
In sum, to modernize the hospital sector which still bears the trademark of the Soviet era healthcare pathway -a building per specialty with a myriad of inpatient beds and specialists on calls 24/7- the Government is looking at bringing private expertise to design, build, prefinance, operate and maintain a modern health infrastructure.
While this aim is legitimate, a number of questions remain, which as often pertain to the public capacity to successfully manage complex contracts over a long period of time.
Tied to the life cycle of the assets and the necessary time to amortize them, PPP contracts are typically 35 to 50 years long.
Against this backdrop, the IFC is recruiting in parallel and through a different tender, consultants to assist the Government to manage the tender and contracting process, thus prompting concerns that public capacities may not be sufficient to ensure the use of these complex contracts can deliver value for money.