Private sector can set example to the public

The private sector likes to brag about introducing superior quality to emerging market health systems so it’s refreshing to have this confirmed to us by those without a financial interest. Especially from a country where some think private outsourcers have been paid too much.

A source that has worked in both the Ministry of Health (MOH) and private sector dialysis clinics in Saudi Arabia tells us that the difference in quality outcomes between the two sectors was stark.

KT/V is a common quality measure for dialysis which measures urea clearance (K) multiplied by time (T) over a volume roughly equivalent to a patient’s total body water (V). The National Kidney Foundation in the United States recommends a reading of at least 1.3.

Our source says patients in MOH clinics struggled to achieve a KT/V of around 1, but in private sector clinics, they observed KT/Vs of around 1.5.

Some say that the contracts represented “excess value” for the private sector operators, but if they achieve 50% better results maybe the extra money was justified.

Many operators like to beat up on public systems without necessarily giving statistics, so it’s refreshing to see a case where the private sector can set the standard for both the public sector facilities as well as patient expectations of what good outcomes really are.

We would welcome your thoughts on this story. Email your views to Cameron Murray or call 0207 183 3779.