The future of Africa’s health sector lies in the bosom of Public- Private- Partnership (PPP) and there is no option, Dr khama Rogo, Head of the International Finance Cooperation (IFC) Health in Africa Initiative said Wednesday.
Africa, he said, cannot wait for government resources alone to improve the health sector and noted that partnering with the private sector was very apt.
He said the failure to harness opportunities to propel the sector to greater achievement continues to be a problem, and that, Africa’s salvation should be home grown.
Mr Rogo said this at the opening of the First Private Health Sector summit, on the theme, “Strengthening Partnership with the Private Sector to improve health outcomes.
With support from the IFC, GIZ and the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIS), the summit will provide platforms for stakeholders to review the performance of the private health sector, identify challenges and areas of weakness that are preventing the sector from achieving its full potential and recommend concrete solutions to address them.
Mr Rogo wondered why most African countries like Ghana, after decades of independence are still in the wilderness and struggling to meet the Millennium development Goals (MDGs).
“Political will alone is not enough, action is needed. Smarter planning is very important”, he said, and wondered why it should take Ghana a decade to pass a law to regulate laboratory services.
He said resources should be channelled to build capacity of regulatory bodies, adding that, the sectors should take advantage of the technological advancement and computerise patient records and start the operation of paperless health facilities.
Health Minister, Sherry Ayittey said a strong private sector has been the wish of the Ministry and noted that a strong private sector partner will help Ghana achieve seamless care through an efficient network of health systems.
Globalisation, not only poses new health challenges but offers promising approaches to solving problems, she said, noting that, many integrated inventions were needed for improvement in population health.
He said though medical solutions were needed, prevention and health promotion were important to improve health.
According to her, investing in health was not only about investing in nurses, doctors and drugs but also about addressing the inequalities, governance, management and leadership.
“We need to work towards more efficient partnership for health at country level and country-owned national strategic health plans that identify local priority and high impact cost-effective investment, which should be the basis for investment”
The Ministry of Health, she said, would continue to perform and be innovative in areas where the private sector was participating and encouraged the sector to tailor their services to meet the needs and affordable levels of the general population.
An area of concern to the ministry is the coordination of health services in the private sectors, which if well harmonized with the ministry at the decentralised level, will bring seamless health care to all Ghanaians.
Ms Ayittey took the opportunity to launch the new Private Health Sector Development Policy, which seek to improve the investment climate for private growth, support the transformation of private health sector to expectation as well as build capacity of private health care providers.
Trade Minister Haruna Iddrisu, who chaired the function, said government recognises the role of the private sector in improving health outcome and gave the assurance that government would support a number of pharmaceutical companies to build their capacity and competitiveness through the provision of stimulus and an enabling environment.
Dr Yaw Adu-Agyei, CEO of Danadams Pharmaceuticals said bureaucracy continues to be a major setback in the public-private partnership and should be curtailed, adding that, about 70 per cent were Small and medium Enterprises.
Mr Louis Nortey, Chairman of the Private Health Sector Alliance of Ghana (PHSAG), said the objective of PHSAG is to create a well coordinated umbrella organisation of all the sub groups within the private health sector, with a unified voice to interact with government and increase their contribution to the overall health sector objectives.
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