A coalition of Nigerian private healthcare sector stakeholders, the Healthcare Federation of Nigeria, has said 70 per cent of healthcare delivery in Nigeria is handled by the private sector.
HFN in a statement released on Wednesday, canvassed for more public and private integration and collaboration, stressing that it would help to promote accessible and quality healthcare delivery in Nigeria.
According to the President of HFN Dr. Pamela Ajayi, there is a need to bridge the gap between the public and private healthcare providers in the health sector.
She said, “70 per cent of the healthcare delivery is being handled by the private sector and still, there is no partnership between the public and the private sector.
”For many years, we have been talking of public-private partnership that has remained limited and this is the right time for integration between the two.”
Ajayi also advocated for a seamless integration that would work for all stakeholders in the sector, either private or public.
She revealed that through its forthcoming annual conference, HFN would educate Nigerians on how to improve the Health Sector through advocacy.
Ajayi said through a list of conferences, and panel sessions, she would discuss “Public-Private Integration and the role of the State in the Healthcare” sector.
She added, “Participants will gain insights into the policy landscape shaping public-private collaboration in healthcare.
“Discuss innovative policy frameworks, regulatory incentives, and advocacy strategies that can catalyze partnerships, stimulate investments, and accelerate progress toward a more inclusive and resilient health system.”
The annual conference, titled, ‘Bridging the Gaps in Healthcare – Public-Private Integration as a Catalyst for Sustainable Growth,’ will be held between February 8th and 9th in Lagos.
Ajayi said the ministerial keynote address, titled, ‘Bridging the Gaps: Government and Private Sector Integration for Healthcare Transformation,’ would be delivered by the Minister of State for Health, Dr Tunji Alausa.
The statement further noted that the keynote address on ‘Public-Private Integration and the Role of the State in Healthcare’ would be delivered by the Emir of Shonga, Haliru Yahaya Ndanusa, while the Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, will speak on, ‘Reviving/Revolutionising Pharmaceutical & Health Products Manufacturing through Public-Private Synergies.’
The immediate past Chairman, Board of Trustees, HFN, Mr. Asue Ighodalo, who was represented by Dr. Richard Ajayi, earlier said the current regulatory framework for health care in Nigeria was such that anyone with a medical degree could open a hospital and provide services.
He noted that the way the law currently stands unless such an act is reported to the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, such a person can continue to operate seamlessly.
Ighodalo said, “In fact when the case is reported, it may take three to four years before it is prosecuted and while this is going on such facility can continue to practice. All these kinds of situations contribute to a lack of trust in the healthcare sector.
“We cannot underestimate the importance of government policy in the delivery of health care service in Nigeria, we know that a lot of our patients leave Nigeria every year and spend around a trillion-dollar abroad on medical tourism, the truth is that all these services they travel abroad we have people that are striving very hard to provide them here in Nigeria, but the issue is just that patients don’t trust the system as much as they should do.
“The question is how do we build trust in our healthcare industry and ensure that a lot of this money that travels abroad is retained in our system and also ensure a lot of our staff that leave Nigeria in search of greener pastures stay at home?”