AN ASSESSMENT OF USER SATISFACTION WITH PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP (PPP) PROJECTS
Government at all levels are forced to prioritise and restrict public expenditures due to budget deficits and the inefficient management of large infrastructure projects. Due to the shortage of resources for healthcare delivery leading to decline in the quality of care, there is considerable interest in PPP initiatives for the provision of finance and management of health care to ordinary people. The PPP option due to its complexities has led to some projects failure leading to wastage of huge resources and time. Studies have shown that majority of these project failures are as a result of public opposition leading to outright cancellation of the projects. Due to the lack of empirical studies on user satisfaction with PPP projects in Nigeria, this study assessed the satisfaction of users of PPP projects from both employees and patients’ perspectives of two university teaching hospitals in Nigeria. A total of 580 questionnaires were distributed to Employees and Patients of University College Hospital, Ibadan (Oyo state) and Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos (Lagos state). The data received from these respondents were analysed using both descriptive and inferential statistics with the aid of SPSS to determine their levels of satisfaction with the facilities and services provided. It was observed that the patients were more satisfied with the projects than the employees. The patients rated the staff members the highest implying that they were quite confident in the healthcare providers‟ reliability and expertise. The employees were most satisfied with the reliability of the facilities in maintaining confidentiality. The study also observed that there is a positive significant relationship between quality parameters and overall satisfaction. The study therefore concluded that necessary improvement adjustments need to be done in all areas of quality performance especially the facilities to increase the satisfaction of the users of these projects.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Endemic budget deficits and the inefficient management of large infrastructure projects and services within the public sector are a few reasons why the traditional procurement method of governments funding infrastructure projects through fiscal budgets is increasingly considered unviable (Alitheia, 2010). In the past few decades, developed economies (e.g. the United Kingdom) have modelled a variety of public private partnerships (PPPs) for the delivery of infrastructure, public utilities and large services projects, achieving significant successes from harnessing the competences and expertise from both sectors. Emerging markets such as India and South Africa are also recording successes using tried and tested PPP templates to create, expand and modernise infrastructure (Workshop Report, 2008). It is apparent that these dynamic partnerships between the public and private sectors have become inevitable across the globe.