2024 PSHAN Annual Conference: Experts Highlight Private Sector’s Role in Achieving Universal Health Coverage

L-R: Dr. Ngozi Onyia, MD, Paelon Memorial Hospital; Dr. Leke Oshunniyi, MD, AIICO Multishield Limited; Olayinka Subair, Country Manager Nigeria/Cluster Lead West Africa, Pfizer SSA; Njide Ndili, Vice President, Healthcare Federation of Nigeria; Abimbola Adebakin, Founder/CEO, Advantage Health Africa; Nicole Spieker, CEO, PharmAccess Foundation; Dr. Tinuola Akinbolagbe, MD/CEO, Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria; Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, FCIB, CON, Chairman Board of Directors, Access Holdings; Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan, Head, Sustainability, Access Corporation; Dr. Tayo Aduloju, CEO, Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG); Prof. Folasade Ogunsola, Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos (UNILAG); Zakari Momodu, Projects Director, Aliko Dangote Foundation; Iyadunni Olubode, Director of Nigeria Programs, MSD for Mothers; Dr. Alero Roberts, Associate Professor, College of Medicine, UNILAG; and Kenneth Okolie, MD/CEO, SYNLAB Nigeria; at the 2024 PSHAN Annual Conference held on Tuesday, June 25, 2024, at Access Towers, Lagos.

At the just concluded 2024 Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PSHAN) annual conference in Lagos, leading experts said that the private sector’s contribution to the provision of health insurance is vital for attaining Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Nigeria, with the sector accounting for over 60 percent of healthcare service delivery in the country. Experts suggested that expanding the private sector’s involvement in healthcare delivery can lead to more affordable and high-quality healthcare options for Nigerians, addressing a critical need in the country’s healthcare system.

According to them, countries that have embraced private sector involvement in healthcare delivery have been able to unlock the innovative power of such sector thereby, creating transparency and accountability that translate to efficient and effective healthcare delivery services.

Delivering the keynote address, Dr. Tayo Aduloju, CEO of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) said, “90 percent of essential UHC interventions can be delivered through primary healthcare centres, potentially saving 60 million lives and increasing global life expectancy by 3.7 years by 2030. Given the government’s limited capacity and competing challenges, the private health sector must be leveraged to unlock innovation and resources for UHC, especially via private healthcare involvement, policies favouring and inspiring PPPs, collaborating with digital healthcare delivery and tech integrating organisations.”

He further noted that private sector providers can introduce innovative technologies, improve management practices, and implement cost controls, leading to a more efficient healthcare system. “Public-private partnerships (PPPs) can expedite the development and upkeep of healthcare infrastructure,” said Dr. Tayo Aduloju.

Nicole Spieker, CEO of PharmAccess Foundation, delivered a special guest address, offering valuable insights on the innovative approaches harnessing private sector solutions for achieving universal health coverage in Nigeria’s evolving health insurance landscape. In her address, she noted that healthcare insurance should be seen as a social business that requires collaboration between public and private sectors. She urged stakeholders to explore ways to involve businesses and banks in healthcare investment, pointing out that technology has the potential to promote UHC in Nigeria. “Private health insurers need capital to expand, and the use of technology can create services for lower-income groups,” Spieker said.

In her introductory speech, Dr. Tinuola Akinbolagbe, MD/CEO of PSHAN, gave a background of the conference’s theme while highlighting the objective of the conference. She noted that PSHAN plays a vital role in promoting private sector involvement in healthcare delivery, considering its contribution to over 60 percent of Nigeria’s healthcare service delivery. Dr. Akinbolagbe said the government needs to use accurate, research-backed data to guide informed decisions.

The panel discussion on “Private Sector Solutions for Universal Health Coverage: Myth or Reality?” followed. Moderated by Iyadunni Olubode, Director of Nigeria Programs at MSD for Mothers, panelists included Modupeola Ogundimu, Director Lagos Zone, National Health Insurance Authority; Dr. Alero Roberts, Associate Professor at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos; Dr. Leke Oshunniyi, MD of AIICO Multishield Limited; Abimbola Adebakin, Founder and CEO of Advantage Health Africa; Dr. Ngozi Onyia of Paleon Memorial Hospital; and Peju Ibekwe, CEO of Sterling One Foundation.

Iyadunni Olubode, Director of Nigeria Programmes for MSD, said 60 percent of Nigerians access healthcare through the private sector. According to her, the public sector alone cannot meet Nigerians’ healthcare needs. “Collaboration between public and private sectors in a mixed health system is the only way to achieve UHC in Nigeria,” Olubode said. She said the private sector brings innovation, efficiency, access, and sometimes investment and they need support. “The private sector needs access to financing to deliver the desired healthcare. Just as citizens need financing on the demand side, healthcare is a business requiring financing on the supply side as well,” she added.

Following the physical summit, the conference continued with a virtual session on June 27th, open to the public. This virtual conference facilitated the exchange of perspectives and experiences, with actionable solutions to the challenges faced in achieving UHC in Nigeria. Dr. Leke Oshunniyi, Chairman of the Health and Managed Care Association of Nigeria (HMCAN), delivered the keynote address, emphasizing the critical role of the private sector in achieving UHC. He advocated for strengthened collaborations and innovative approaches to healthcare delivery.

The panel discussion for the virtual conference, “The Role of Private Sector in Achieving Universal Health Coverage,” followed. Moderated by Dr. Anne Adah-Ogo, Director of Policy at PSHAN, the panel featured Vivianne Ihekweazu, Managing Director, Nigeria Health Watch; Dr. Oluwakolade Abayomi, Group Medical Consultant, Dangote Industries Limited; Kenneth Okolie, MD/CEO, SYNLAB Nigeria; Rotimi Olatunji, Head Business Development, Lagos State Health Management Agency; and Dr. Mories Atoki, CEO, African Business Coalition For Health. The discussion highlighted the private sector’s contributions to UHC, exploring strategic partnerships and innovative solutions.

Special guests who attended the conference include Mr. Jim Ovia (CFR, CON), Founder & Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc; Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, FCIB, CON, Chairman Board of Directors, Access Holdings; Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan, Head, Sustainability, Access Corporation; Prof. Folasade Ogunsola, Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos; Professor Francis Abayomi Durosinmi-Etti (OFR), Chairman, Board of Trustees, CancerAware; Olayinka Subair, Country Manager Nigeria/Cluster Lead West Africa, Pfizer SSA; Njide Ndili, Vice President, Healthcare Federation of Nigeria; Dr. George Uduku, General Manager, West Africa, GE Healthcare; and Momodu, Projects Director, Aliko Dangote Foundation, among others.

The 2024 PSHAN Annual Conference successfully facilitated dialogue, promoted collaboration, and drove innovation in the healthcare sector. By bringing together leaders and experts, PSHAN aims to create a conducive environment for developing actionable strategies to significantly impact Nigeria’s healthcare system and its journey towards universal health coverage. The alliance remains committed to leveraging private sector resources and expertise to improve health outcomes across Nigeria.

About brandessence

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *