By Rukayat Moisemhe
Lagos, April 22, 2021 Experts on Thursday advocated the adoption of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model in tackling the technical, financial and human capacity gaps in the country’s health sector.
They said that the adoption of the PPP model would improve Nigeria’s healthcare delivery system.
The experts gave the advice at the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) webinar themed: “Building, financing and implementing a sustainable healthcare system.”
Prof Akin Abayomi, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, said the state government in the coming months would leverage the technical and financial capacity of the private sector to increase healthcare investment.
Abayomi said that in driving the Lagos new strategic agenda for health, focus would also be on strengthening regulation and governance, modernising healthcare infrastructure, and building a digital healthcare framework.
He added that the state’s target was to increase enrolment in its health insurance scheme to one million households, increase uptake of health insurance services from formal and informal sector and increase demand creation and awareness activities.
“Following the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become necessary to articulate a cohesive plan that will systematically and rapidly strengthen Lagos State’s healthcare system, ensuring that it can deliver quality health outcomes for the residents.
“To this end, a radical modernisation of the state’s healthcare delivery system is required.
“This has ramifications for its health infrastructure, human resources for health and equipment.
“Regarding infrastructure, the state is in the process of implementing its ‘Medical Blue-print Project’.
“This is geared toward the implementation of a blueprint manual for the design of primary, secondary and specialist facilities.
“These blueprints will serve as prototype documents that will determine the direction of healthcare infrastructure in Lagos for the foreseeable future with built in biosecurity components,” he said.
Mr Kayode Falowo, President, NBCC, noted that a Knight Frank recent poll of 140 global investors found that 80 per cent were considering investment in African health infrastructure in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Falowo noted that there had also been an increased demand for healthcare services in Nigeria, which is expected to increase to a value of over 18 billion dollars in 2023.
“The effect of the coronavirus pandemic has sharpened the lens on a substantial healthcare spending gap in Africa’s largest economy, and international investors are seeking to fill the void.
“Accordingly, Nigeria would require 386,000 additional beds and 82 billion dollars of investment in health-care real estate assets to reach the global average of 2.7 beds per thousand people,” he said.
“Nigeria’s healthcare sector has been lagging behind compared to its African neighbours in terms of expenditure and access and it has been estimated that Nigerians spend about one billion dollars on medical tourism per annum.
“Various opportunities for investment in the healthcare industry include medical equipment & devices, healthcare infrastructure & assets, health care innovation & digital health, mobile clinics and the list goes on and on.
“We hereby encourage all stakeholders to come from financiers, to the doctors, nurses, scientists, government and private institutions to work together toward a healthy nation,” Falowo said.
Dr Agnes Soucat, Global Leader, Service Delivery, World Bank, in her presentation noted that before 2020, global spending on domestic healthcare grew rapidly.
Soucat, however, noted that government priority to healthcare became higher in richer countries and declined in poorer countries.
She stressed the need to recognise the health system weaknesses and failures of pre COVID-19 strategies to achieve better healthcare dynamics in a post COVID-19 world.
“Before COVID-19 hit, the situation was already challenging, especially in lower income countries.
“All countries must learn from collective failure and assess country specific impact with no blanket impact universal health care policies.
“There is also the need to fully integrate the role of collective intelligence and collective action that is politics and the construction of the social contract in a post COVID-19 world.
“Other areas that require the right policies are the health system foundation with focus on human resources shortage, under investment in common good for health and shift in global financing from aid to global commons,” she said.
Experts advocate PPP model for improved healthcare delivery
By Rukayat Moisemhe