A stakeholder consultation was organized by the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Office with support from the implementing agency, Ministry of Social Welfare (MoSW), Govt. of Bangladesh and International Finance Corporation (IFC), The World Bank Group as Transaction Advisors. The first stakeholder discussion happened in London on September 26, 2013 and the other was held in Dhaka on October 07, 2013. Around 35 participants representing the private sector, industry bodies, healthcare provider, social enterprise etc. attended the discussion. The objective of the discussion was to get a feedback from the participants on the project concept, proposed PPP structure, likely challenges for the private sector and the support required from MoSW, to implement the project on a PPP model such that it is financially viable on a sustainable basis.
At the outset of the meeting, Mr. Meshkat Ahmed Chowdhury (Joint Secretary - Development, MoSW) welcomed all the participants, and shared the genesis and the main objectives of the project. He also added that PPP's can bring more efficiency in the sector, improve quality of services and increase access to much needed healthcare services for the elderly population. If this model is found to be successful then similar projects will be replicated across the country. The Transaction Advisors gave a presentation on the project which was followed by addressing all the queries of the participants regarding concept and the proposed PPP model. There were few suggestions from the participants which was taken note of.
Bangladesh has an estimated population of 160 million people. A combination of natural population growth, improved health services, education and technology, decline in mortality rate and longer life expectancy is fueling an exponential increase in the proportion of population aged 60 and above. In 2006, 6 % of the population was aged 60 or over and this figure was predicted to rise to 17 % by 2050. The current growth rate of the elderly population supersedes the annual growth rate of the whole population of Bangladesh. The most vulnerable elderly in Bangladesh include the rural population suffering from low food supply, precarious access to clean water and limited access to healthcare services, as well as the widows and illiterate. The MoSW is cognizant of the problem and envisages establishing a healthcare facility with special provision for elderly care. This will help in developing an eco-system of social development, and also efficient healthcare for the growing geriatric population. The project will address the lack of specialized health care facilities for the elderly, and also offer health care services to address chronic illness and long term better health conditions. The project, first-of-its kind, will be implemented on a PPP basis.
The discussion ended in a positive note with a unanimous endorsement that a project of this nature is very much required for the citizens of Bangladesh.