By ESTHER ONYEGBULA
The Healthcare Federation of Nigeria, HFN, has called for a coalition of Nigerian private health sector stakeholders to promote and enhance medical care in the country. President of the organisation, Mrs. Clare Omatseye, made the call during a consultative Forum organised by HFN in Lagos.
Omatseye said that there was the need for unified healthcare professionals to improve patient care and foster positive changes in the health system.
“A recent report by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), said that the private sector is responsible for the provision of 60 per cent of the healthcare services in Nigeria. But the health sector is faced with many challenges ranging from multiple taxation, finance, poor enabling environment, inconsistent regulations and policies”.
“Poor incentives for investors, lack of confidence of the general populace in the Nigerian healthcare system and many other problems. All these challenges hindered quality healthcare and there is also an increase in demand for quality and affordable healthcare by citizen in the light of growing burden of non-communicable diseases.”
“We can resolve these problems when we reduce the fragmented nature of our private healthcare system at present and speak with one voice on major national healthcare issues,” she said.
Dr Festus Oshoba, the National Secretary, Guild of Medical Director said that there is an absence of a robust Public-Private Partnership policy to protect private investors in healthcare.
Oshoba said there was the need to transform the private healthcare sector and build a robust tertiary healthcare system. “The private sector investor requires fiscal and non- fiscal incentives like tax exemptions, duty waivers, and access to affordable finance.
“Also passing of enabling health legislation before the National Assembly which will create a basic framework for sustainable healthcare delivery and set standards for healthcare services and healthcare providers, “he said.
The HFN comprises Nigerian private health sector stakeholders with the purpose of improving the Nigerian health sector through advocacy.