• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Health industry needs enabling policies for private sector participation – Stakeholders

Stakeholders in the healthcare sector have stressed the need for enabling policies in the healthcare sector to facilitate private sector participation particularly in the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Nigeria and the rest of West Africa.

This was brought to the fore at the inaugural High-Level Policy Conference in Health by the West African Private Health Federation (WAPHF), in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The conference brought together eight West African private health federations, uniting stakeholders to address critical challenges and foster collaboration in the region’s healthcare sector.

Njide Ndili, vice president of the Healthcare Federation of Nigeria, highlighted the need for a public private dialogue, shedding light on the crucial role of the public sector in enabling policies that facilitate private sector participation.

Ndili emphasised the importance of strategic purchasing, governance, and sustainability, acknowledging the private sector’s efficiency and its ability to support government initiatives towards achieving UHC.

At the conference which took place in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, the Nigerian delegation showcased its commitment to public-private partnerships in healthcare. Notable members of the Nigerian delegation included Mohammed Nasir Sambo CEO/director general of the Nigeria Health Insurance Authority, and Ben Nkechika, DG of the Delta State Contributory Health Commission. They both shared insights on the success of public-private partnerships at the primary healthcare level, emphasising its impact on healthcare delivery.

Pamela Ajayi, President of the Healthcare Federation of Nigeria (HFN), shared the practical experience on the growth of HFN, supporting the government through advocacy, collaboration and enabling private sector engagement. She demonstrated positive outcomes and successful interventions highlighting how policy discussions can shape legislative agendas, and promote policies that facilitate private sector participation.

The West African Private Health Federation, alongside eight other federations, is embarking on a journey to sustainability (J2su), supported by USAID. This initiative aims to strengthen the health sector across the eight West African countries, fostering a resilient and efficient healthcare system.

The High-Level Policy Conference in Health serves as a milestone achievement, showcasing the commitment of the West African private health federations. By fostering collaboration, knowledge sharing, and highlighting successful models, the conference paves the way for a formidable health sector in the region, bringing us closer to the vision of Universal Health Coverage.