The present challenges facing the health care industry in the country, the Health Federation of Nigeria (HFN) seeks to collaborate with private health sectors in Ogun State in a bid to make an impact and influence the government’s policy. At the inaugural forum organised at the weekend by HFN, which brought together various health care-based associations and top business managers in the Nigerian health care space and health professionals including: medical doctors, nurses, medical laboratory scientists, pharmacists, physiotherapists and health management organisations.
Speaking at the event in Abeokuta, the President, HFN, Mrs. Clare Omatseye, said the forum was to ensure that from Pharmacists to nurses and all medical practitioners to speak with one voice and bring the change they need in the country. “There is the need for healthcare practitioners to work together synergistically irrespective of diversity; hence, the need for private sectors and influence government’s policy,” she explained Omatseye added that they have huge percentage of fakes in Nigeria; even drugs are imported into the country.
She, also, focused on access to finance, advocacy for incentives for health care, enabling regulatory framework and enabling policies. The President encouraged participants to think about three words that the HFN stands for, such as Engagement, Access and Quality. With their quest to unite for impact, HFN disclosed that the present challenges in the health care Industry includes poor health indices and increase in medical tourism stating the losses to the country; the role of the private sector in health care delivery; 60 % of health care delivery in Nigeria is through the private sector. While the current challenges facing the private sector are fragmentation, access to finance, human resource challenges and poor regulatory environment.
Vice President of HFN, Dr Odunayo Oshoba stated the need for the private health sector to unite and form a platform that speaks with one united voice to effect a positive change in the Nigerian Healthcare industry.
Meanwhile, the Secretary General of HFN, who spoke on the Kenyan Health care Federation, said the Kenyan and East African Healthcare Federation (KHF,EAHF) had been engaging with their Health Ministers in certain policy agendas for health care in Kenya. “It has provided support and solutions to health care problems in their own country playing a leading role in promotion of public private sector engagement to achieve universal healthcare to their people,” he stated. He disclosed that KHF provides a forum for consultation among many practitioners, manufacturers and everyone that has a role to play in healthcare sector.
However, Chairman of EKO Hospitals and Patron HFN, Dr Sunny Kuku advised that rather than facing the irrelevant things like “Who is head or tail”, they should focus on being patient centric.
Other discourse are: banks do not understanding the healthcare industry; thus, apply very high interest rates based on the risk they perceive the industry carries and care must, therefore, be taken to educate the banking sector on the healthcare industry. Explaining further, the Senior Operations Officer of Health in Africa Initiative, Dr Olumide Okunola, who spoke on the aspect of universal health coverage, said that if the system could be organized and worked together as a team, the country could achieve universal coverage within a relatively short period of time. “There is need for health professionals to have more information on the National Health Bill.”
The community based health insurance scheme and Assocition for Hospital Medical Education (AHME) partnership opportunities for the private health sector in Ogun state. The role of the private sector in healthcare delivery is increasingly recognised by governments and other stakeholders. However, atomization, disorganisation and heterogeneous quality of care constrain the potential of the private sector to collectively address key drivers of regional disease burden.