Private-public partnership key to accelerating Universal Health Coverage – PharmAccess Country Director

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Dr. Maxwell Akwasi Antwi, Country Director-PharmAccess Foundation, has called for enhanced collaboration between the private and public sectors to improve universal health coverage (UHC) for all.

At a stakeholder seminar in Accra, he stressed that enhanced collaboration will also deepen universal health coverage.

The event was on the theme ‘Achieving Universal Health Coverage – role and contribution of private sector health insurance’, and organised by Nationwide Medical Insurance in collaboration with the PharmAccess Group.

The seminar was attended by stakeholders in the health industry, who shared their views on how to make universal health coverage more successful and sustainable.

According to Dr. Antwi, even though the public sector has a lot of mileage in health insurance policies, its growth can be complemented by efforts from private outfits as well.

He noted that there are lessons from both sectors which can advance universal health coverage, hence the need for both wings to build bridges in terms of regulation, advocacy and other relevant aspects.

“The word is ‘collaboration’, and it is one of the crosscutting themes throughout all the discussions,” he stressed. Emphasising the need for stronger ties between both sectors, he said: “Each entity is doing great in their own space”.

He continued that the public sector is doing great work with the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), having 52% of the population of Ghana as active members.

“So, it really shows you how big that momentum is and how we are growing very well, and the great work that the Ministry of Health, NHIA and all the partners have done,” he added.

He further intimated that the PharmAccess group is one of such committed private outfits, poised to partner government in advancing the cause of universal health coverage.

In a panel discussion that formed part of the event, notable industry players took turns to express their views on how healthcare in general can be taken to the next level.

The discussants included Industry Lead for PHIAG, Ronald Oppong; Operations Manager for PharmAccess Foundation, Dr. Gifty Sunkwa-Mills; Board Member of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Dr. Isaac Morrison; Senior Vice President (Africa) of Zipline Africa, Daniel Margo; and CEO of Claron Health International, Dr. Dennis Addo.

The session was moderated by the Acting Director of Corporate Affairs-NHIA, Oswald Essuah-Mensah, with a focus on the theme for the event. The participants diagnosed some problems in the industry and advanced solutions to mitigate the highlighted challenges.

In a related development, Chief Executive Officer of Nationwide Medical Insurance, Nancy Naa Ampah, also stressed the need for private and public sector players to pool their strengths to boost healthcare delivery.

“The private health insurance could be the oil to achieve Universal Health Coverage by 2030, and also we need to be more innovative. The private insurance sector should be very innovative in its approach to healthcare financing,” she added.

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