A few weeks ago I was in Mexico participating in the World Economic Forum on Latin America. As a result of my invitation to the event, I was able to experience first hand the objectives, initiatives and hopes of a continent that is at full steam rather than one just evolving: a Colombia that faces the exciting challenge of a country at peace and centred on progress, a Mexico that is going through major reforms that will allow it to take huge steps forward in its economic and social development, and even a Cuba that is beginning its post blockade stage and where many views and expectations are concentrated. These are just three examples of the many I could name.
During the four day conference, over 750 participants, including leaders and businessmen and women, put forward a barrage of intentions and reflections to convert Latin America into a region with more proximity across all levels. Like them, I also think now is the time for Latin America. Due to the consolidation and development of a young and strong democratic culture, now is the time to achieve modernity, social equilibrium and the growth of the middle class, which form the core of prosperity. Now is the time to finish consolidating the welfare state and to this end, public-private partnerships play a key role. Both in infrastructure and education as well as in health, we can and must build a welfare state for citizens of the 21st century.
It was a real pleasure to explain and discuss the public-private partnership model in such a participatory environment and with people from different Latin American countries, and more specifically, our particular way of understanding health management, the Ribera Salud Model, given that there are numerous public-private partnerships, though not all are equal.
It is true that every country has its specific problems and its own health model, and so it is necessary to have a solid understanding of the peculiarities of each. But the challenges that we face, which could be summarized in three aspects, are global:
– To establish a fair and balanced health care model for all citizens.
– To do so in a responsible manner to ensure its long-term sustainability.
– To do so applying current organization systems and high levels of specialisation.
I am convinced that with public-private partnerships, a health system with public values can be consolidated that is both sustainable over time and highly specialized. I am convinced that through public-private partnerships we can help accelerate and make more effective our success in surmounting these huge challenges. I am convinced that in the coming years we will see many examples that this is so.