Private sector seeks increased access to finance
The private health sector has called for government’s collaboration to increase access to finance the health sector and ensure every Nigerian is provided with basic healthcare, which is their fundamental right.
They stated this at the Healthcare Federation of Nigeria (HFN) Inaugural Breakfast Meeting, held in Lagos recently, which had the presence of the Commissioner of Health Lagos State, Dr. Jide Idris, representing the public sector.
They noted that the private sector has the potentials to run the healthcare business, but the lack of enabling environment to thrive has remained a huge issue, with the increase in taxation and tariffs.
The President, HFN, Clare Omatseye said the public private partnership is one of the new methodologies governments around the world is using to improve their health sector, adding that the budget earmarked for the capital expenditure and infrastructure is not enough to push the countries health sector out of the doldrums.
“Healthcare in Nigeria can only be provided by strategic partnership, we need the PPP in order to come together and create that dialogue, the private sector has a huge advantage in its efficiency and discipline for the public sector, which has patients, infrastructure to tap into and make positive impact the health sector,” she said.
Omatseye stressed that the country needs to be disruptive in nature and think of new innovative ways of acquiring infrastructure and equipment to provide Nigerians with quality health care.
She said the Primary Health Centres (PHCs) require collaboration between both stakeholders to revamp its structure, which will lessen out-of- pocket payment that has impoverished most Nigerians.
She said healthcare insurance should be made mandatory to ensure every Nigerian has access to quality care, adding that with the enactment of Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF), and the support of the private sector to ensure its implementation, Nigeria would improve on her health indices.
Speaking on the BHCPF, Idris said the budget has been approved, but its implementation, which has been a major challenge in financing and policing, remains key.
He said, though, there are some guideline for the implementation of the funds, concerted efforts between the federal and state government would ensure positive outcome, especially in revamping its public health facilities, to ensure provision of quality healthcare to the average Nigeria who can’t afford medical tourism.
He, however, stressed that effective leadership and governance is crucial in improving the health sector in order to achieve the Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC).
The Health Care Federation of Nigeria (HFN) is an active coalition of Nigerian Private Sector professionals whose mission it is to improve healthcare indices and create an environment where Nigerians can receive affordable and accessible healthcare of the highest quality.
Healthcare financing continues to challenge policy makers in developing countries including Nigeria as we grapple with the burden of finding the most efficient model for delivering public health services to citizens.
Healthcare financing is critical at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. In Nigeria, the cost to the country of medical tourism is huge as it continues to hemorrhage scarce foreign exchange while promoting capital flight.
Omatseye said: “Nigeria loses about 1 billion dollars to medical tourism annually.”