‘Govt Efficiency, PPP Can Change Face of Healthcare in Africa’

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Martins Ifijeh

The Chairman, African Healthcare Federation, Dr. Amit Thakker, has stated that the health indices of Africans can improve greatly if governments of various countries ensure maximum productivity of resources, and increase spending on public private partnership for the sector.

He said the progress experienced in the sector in Africa was extremely slow and not commensurate with the increase in funding generally.

Thakker, who will be a speaker at the 7th Annual African Health Exhibition and Congress in South Africa July 7 to 9, said private health sector, as well as non government organisations (NGOs) are well placed to help improve healthcare across the continent, adding that while there have been PPPs, these need to be stepped up if Africa wants to beat its healthcare challenges.

“These poor outcomes reflect challenges with governance and leadership. Budget allocations in a number of African countries are relatively large, but unfortunately inefficiencies reduce their impact substantially. We would have saved twice as many children and women if governments were efficient,” Thakker said.

According to him, African Healthcare Federation has proposed a new PPP strategy for the continent, to be phased in three stages. “P1 will include dialogue between government and private sector federations to clarify roles and agree on a shared vision. P2 will include creating or adapting regulatory frameworks and contractual obligations and the institutionalisation of PPP Acts. P3 will be the project implementation phase, which will include building and operating projects and products, followed by evaluation and sharing of information and case studies.” Adding, he said “innovations should be driven by the private sector.”

On his part, the Leader of Deloitte Digital Africa, and Head, Healthcare and Life Sciences, Valter Adao, “healthcare spend is often sizeable in dollar terms but low relative to GDP, like in Nigeria, or reasonably comparable to European countries but the outcomes are poor, like in South Africa.

“The deviation from the traditional PPP models is that governments would not be the recipients, but owners or implementers and perhaps even the investors into these solutions,” Adao recently told the World Economic Forum.

While noting that the public sector should be responsible for creating an enabling environment for innovation to flourish, Adao, who will also be a speaker at the event, said: “In order to find ways to spend more efficiently, governments, non governmental organisations, multinationals and entrepreneurs should all contribute to healthcare initiatives.”