Covid-19 has exposed critical gaps in healthcare systems worldwide. In response, governments are scrambling to address chronic under-investment in health service delivery by rapidly boosting public spending on vital equipment, medicine and temporary health infrastructure.
The use of emergency procurement measures to meet demand has raised concerns that transparency, participation and accountability could be compromised, resulting in less scrutiny of public spending and opening opportunities for corruption, mismanagement and inefficiency.
Core to our approach is the disclosure of data which provides relevant sectoral trends and helps to deliver better infrastructure. As recovery plans were announced worldwide, we looked into the data from a sample of health-related projects that was independently reviewed during 2016 – 2019 for ‘CoST assurance’ – the process of highlighting key issues on the data disclosure.
In our latest blog published by Apolitical we summarise the key governance and performance issues of this assessment and find three core issues in the delivery of this health infrastructure:
1. Low levels of transparency
2. A lack of market competition
3. Poor financial management
As governments continue to rapidly build social infrastructure, this assessment can provide useful lessons for the Covid-19 response, outlining the specificities across these three areas so that crucial issues are paid close attention to.