The Lagos Business School (LBS) on Monday, called for more private sector participation in healthcare service delivery across Africa through enhanced investment to tackle brain drain in the sector.
The Dean, LBS, Dr Enase Okonedo, stated this at the opening of a one-week training programme for health leaders and managers in West Africa organised by LBS in partnership with the Management Development Institute (MDI) in Lagos.
Okonedo said the private sector needed to be more involved in healthcare service delivery and provision to improved national healthcare priorities and systems.
She said the healthcare challenges of the continent were enormous and should not be left to government alone.
Okonedo said doctors and nurses were leaving Africa for America, Europe, Asia and Australia due to low investment in healthcare.
“We are not doing things here to keep them because we are not investing enough, we have poor facilities.
“Unfortunately, we depend on government for most of the investments but the private sector has a big role to play,” she said.
Okonedo said the MDI programme administered by the Global Business School Network and funded by Johnson and Johnson would enhance the management and leadership competencies of healthcare professionals in sub-Saharan.
“Participants will gain access to management tools, frameworks and knowledge that will enable them to increase the quantity and quality of health services they provide along with improved access to them.
“The lessons are practical and aimed towards successfully meeting the complex challenges faced by African health systems.
“By developing effective managers, the MDI supports the improvement of health systems throughout Africa.
“The primary goal of the MDI programme is to assist African ministries of health in implementing their peculiar national health priorities and improving the effectiveness of their health systems,” Okonedo said.
She added that the programme would enhance the leadership and management skills and practices of programme managers and leaders of organisations that were devoted to the delivery of healthcare services to underserved populations
Okonedo, who was represented by Prof. Chris Ogbechie, member LBS Management Board, said Africa’s demography was an asset that needed to be developed to rule the world.
She said 40 per cent of the young people in the world would be dominated by Africa by 2040.
Okonedo said Africa needed to develop its content through manpower because the population of Africa would be more than China and India by 2050.
Mrs Clare Omatseye, President, Healthcare Federation of Nigeria, identified the challenges confronting the health sector to include poor maintenance culture, lack of data and infrastructure, among others.
Omatseye called for enabling framework and policies by the government that would encourage private sector participation in the healthcare sector.
She said Nigeria loses 1billion dollars on medical tourism, stressing that, the need for new strategies in reversing the brain drain as well as patient drain.
Omatseye said the government needed to increase budgetary allocation to the health sector to achieve the desired growth and development.
According to her, allocation of a paltry 3.9 per cent of the national budget to the health sector in 2019 budget was far below 15 per cent Abuja declaration of 2001 by all Africa countries in 2001.
She said 80 per cent of the budgetary allocation to the health sector was for recurrent expenditure, with only 20 per cent for capital expenditure.