Public Private Partnerships, an untapped mechanism for delivering more health to more South Africans for less

Dr Ali Hamdulay, CEO at Metropolitan Health Corporate


Momentum Metropolitan’s health business is passionate about contributing towards the upliftment of healthcare services across South Africa.

The burden on the public healthcare system has become increasingly heavy, with limited resources to meet the demands of the country’s citizens. By collaborating with the public sector, private businesses can enable bridging the gap and thereby help support the public sector in its endeavour to bring about meaningful change to our country’s healthcare landscape.

“As a business we aim to support programmes that provision broader societal healthcare needs and make a real difference to communities in need in South Africa, particularly in impoverished communities where the demand for healthcare is high. Through supporting non-profit entities such as Gift of the Givers, The Health Foundation, and Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), the health division of Momentum Metropolitan is successfully channelling funds to support programmes that will have a positive impact on society and create more access to quality health services for more South Africans,” explains Dr Hamdulay.

One such programme saw the business partnering with the Eastern Cape Department of Health and CHAI to reduce infant morbidity and mortality. In conjunction with the provincial health department and CHAI, the business supported the neonatal unit at Dora Nginza Hospital in Gqeberha. Historically, the facility has one of the highest neonatal mortality rates in South Africa. “Our contribution here has led to infrastructure repairs and replacements, infection prevention and control related infrastructure improvements, as well as equipment improvements in the paediatric intensive care unit and respiratory ward. The project has resulted in a reduction in mortality rate and boosted the morale of the healthcare workers there,” says Dr Hamdulay

Partnerships between the private and public sectors can bring about a significant positive impact on the public health sector, and the donation from Momentum Metropolitan to CHAI is a prime example of this.

According to Dr Yogan Pillay, Country Director at CHAI in South Africa, “The donation was essential and enabled CHAI to work with the hospital staff to determine what assistance was needed to improve paediatric services. It also served to improve the working conditions of the clinical staff which also contributed to improved staff morale. This is a prime example of how the private and public sectors can work together to strengthen the public healthcare sector on which 80% of the population depends on.”

Dr Hamdulay elaborates on its company’s purpose by noting that South Africa’s healthcare challenges are well-known. “Many South Africans lose out on the requisite level of care due to an ongoing critical skills shortage and structural resource challenges, especially in under-resourced communities, and also because they simply can’t afford private healthcare funding,” he says.

He continues: “Both the public and private sectors have a vital role to play in addressing these disparities. Collaboration is a fundamental mechanism to enabling greater access to quality healthcare services and the consequent forming of public private partnerships. The private health sector has demonstrated its willingness to contribute to the upliftment and advancement of society by creating a healthier and more productive population. We understand the valuable role we have to play in creating a brighter and more inclusive healthcare sector for all.”

The results and impact showcase the importance of partnerships. This is why the health division of Momentum Metropolitan continues to invest in initiatives, programmes, digital health solutions and partnerships across the public and private sectors that contribute to improving access to quality healthcare services in communities across the country where support is needed most.

The impact of these initiatives highlights the combined power of partnerships and how they can effectively deliver more healthcare to more South Africans for less. This also raises a potential model to consider for the rollout and implementation of universal healthcare in South Africa.

“The healthier citizen and our ambitions to build a progressive society sets a demand on leadership in the healthcare sector to collaborate towards beneficial partnerships that can be sustained in the long term through collaboration,” concludes Dr Hamdulay