PPPHealth4ll Persona – Sacira Coric

Dear Sacira,  could you be please briefly introduce yourself and your experience with PPPs in the healthcare sector?

I am Director at Turner & Townsend Infrastructure Advisory business and lead PPP advisory services (UK). I  have been working in the PPP advisory space for 20 years across economic and social infrastructure and  have advised top-tier global infrastructure project sponsors, lenders and public sector procurement authorities across EMEA and North America on all aspects of the infrastructure project life cycle, ranging from strategy, appraisal, development, Project Finance, delivery,  O&M and exit. I have advised on a number of healthcare projects of different size and complexity, procured in the UK as project finance transactions (i.e. PFIs  and Local Improvement Financial Trusts LIFTs) and care homes more recently.

My particular expertise is with early stage identification of investment opportunities and defining legal, policy and regulatory enablers, while understanding thoroughly public sector value for money drivers and private financiers’ interests and concerns.

I am passionate about the way we deploy private capital to meet growing infrastructure demands and deliver not only economic, but also environmental and social value.

What are the current challenges for PPPs in the healthcare sector from your point of view?

The majority of PPPs in healthcare have been performing successfully for both the procuring authority and the Project Company.  I am also hearing that a true spirit of partnership and commitment to project objectives are now being demonstrated on PPP healthcare projects during the covid-19 pandemic.  However, there have been some major failures PPPs and PPP contractorswhich have attracted negative publicity.   PPPs have therefore been criticised for poor value for money,  lack of true partnership and conflicting interests between the public and private sector, data asymmetry, lack of customer focus, social value and community benefits.  PPPs in developing countries face ongoing challenges associated with the public sector capability and capacity, legal and regulatory frameworks, lack of standardisation and benchmarking data, lack of leading practice guidance, which all lead to long and costly procurement timelines and suboptimal value delivered to the public sector and end-users.  PPP contract management presents an ongoing challenge globally for a variety of similar reasons.

How platforms like PPPHealth4All could contribute to solving the challenges mentioned above?

PPPHealth4All platform is being launched at the time when we face unprecedented crisis in public health, an increased risk of catastrophic consequences of climate change, major social inequalities, increased nationalism and lack of cooperation between major stakeholders globally as well as regionally and nationally.   We are also at a crossroads in terms of the need to improve the way the public and private sector work together and jointly use its respective capital to recover the stalled economy and public services in a more sustainable and equitable manner. 

I feel very excited about the PPPHealth4All potential as it is aiming to improve public healthcare services, which the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed as lacking the standard required.  No doubt, investment in healthcare will be a priority in the coming years and the demand for  platforms such as PPPHealth4All will only grow.   PPPHealth4All will be providing access to data, performance benchmarks, standards and leading practice for delivering healthcare projects with long-term sustainability at its heart.  Reducing carbon footprint and improving resilience against climate change cannot any longer be just considered as “a nice to have” but must drive the decision making process from the project outset.  Most importantly, the key objective of PPPHealth4All is to improve the value delivered to the end users. 

PPPHealth4All is proposed as a blockchain based platform designed to improve cooperation, knowledge share, standardisation and access to healthcare projects and data.  The platform is to capitalise on the best principles of public – private partnerships and is paving the way for improved collaboration between the public sector,  the investor  and developer market and advisors  in their quest for an optimal and sustainable healthcare solution.

What is appealing to you in the platform PPPHealth4All?

PPP Health4All is addressing three aspects of infrastructure delivery close to my heart:

  • Improved partnerships between the public and private sector and improved collaboration globally,  which is of paramount importance in the post covid-19 recovery;
  • Delivering social value and sustainable healthcare with the end-users’ interests at the heart of the solution;
  • Offering visibility and transparency of healthcare opportunities globally.
Last but not least: how you feel as a  successful woman working in infrastructure sector- what kind of advice you could give your peers in the developing countries?

I enjoy working in infrastructure sector and find it of great interest to take part and shape the way infrastructure is driving the economy, improving our lives and meeting our ever changing demands.  It is constantly evolving in terms of the delivery models, underpinning technology, skillset required and most importantly outcomes delivered. More recently, delivery of infrastructure is being re-evaluated in terms of its role in generating not just economic value, as its primary objective, but also sustainably protecting the environment we live in and reducing major social inequalities.  Being an engineer by profession I am inspired by tangible benefits of my work.  Working in infrastructure has enabled me to witness how major and complex engineering endeavours have shaped and improved the life of local communities. 

I am deeply committed to supporting the global infrastructure industry improve its performance through innovation and initiatives, such as PPPHealth4All which, in particular encourage improved collaboration between government, private capital and delivery market. This joint triangle of delivery is fundamental for meeting the SDGs and would help us all live more purposeful lives.  Working in developing countries is a great opportunity to address unique challenges by adopting best practice from the countries which have faced similar challenges.  There is also an opportunity to address growing urbanisation demands by delivering new sustainable infrastructure from the outset.   I would advise my peers in developing countries to have an open mind about possible solutions, understand thoroughly local challenges and interests and search for ways to improve existing practices.  There is never one solution fits all.

What could be your added-value to PPPHealth4All ecosystem?

 I believe that the role of women is crucial for more sustainability in healthcare procurement and PPP and wish to contribute to the establishment of an international women network  in this field to exchange experiences and disseminate good practices. With reference to the latter, best practices should be applied with great attention to the contexts’ specifics to avoid mistakes already done, especially when many countries imported the anglosaxon PPP model. 

Thanks a lot! We wishing you a lot of success in your work! Interview by Natalia Korchakova-Heeb
The list of articles published by Prof. Veronica Vecchi:
Vecchi V., Hellowell (2018), Public Private Partnership in the healthcare sector, Palgrave Pivot
Colla P., Hellowell M., Vecchi V., Gatti S., (2015), Determinants of the price of equity in hospital private finance initiative projects, Health Policy
Hellowell, M., & Vecchi, V. (2015). The Non-Incremental Road to Disaster? A Comparative Policy Analysis of Agency Problems in the Commissioning of Infrastructure Projects in the UK and Italy Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice, 1-14

Vecchi V., Hellowell M., Gatti S., (2013), Does the private sector receive an excessive rate of return from investments in health care infrastructure? Evidence from the UK. Health Policy, 110 (2-3): 243 – 270

Hellowell M., Vecchi V., (2013), Better deal from investors in public infrastructure projects: insights from capital budgeting. Public Management Review, 15(1): 109-129

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