Public-private collaboration urged for universal health coverage in Africa

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Public-private collaboration urged for universal health coverage in Africa

JOHANNESBURG, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) — For Africa to achieve universal health coverage there is a need for private-public sector collaboration, said health stakeholders at a forum on Monday in Johannesburg.

“The concept of health for all by 2020 is important to reduce the burden on health systems in Africa. Private sector events adversely affect the public sector and hence it is not possible to separate the two to solve their plans individually,” South African Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi told the Africa Heath Business Symposium.

South Africa is in the process of implementing national health insurance, he said, noting that the government wants to pull funds together so that both the rich and the poor can have access to quality health care.

African Union Commissioner of Social Affairs Amira Elfadil said public-private sector collaboration is critical if the continent is to achieve the universal health coverage.

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“Harnessing private sector is critical to achieve health coverage and sustainable improvement. We don’t need to establish parallel systems that will cause confusion and waste resources,” she said.

Parfait Uwaliraye, a director general at the Rwandan Health Ministry, said political will and accountability from all stakeholders are required to achieve universal health care coverage.

“Achieving the universal health coverage is an ambitious goal,” she said. “We have approved and are about to implement an alternative sources of funding for insurance scheme without increasing premium.”

Ministers and health representatives from different countries shared their best practices. Some called for the use of the new technology, others urged good governance and fighting corruption in the health sector.

Over 350 delegates from 31 African countries attended the two-day event, which started on Monday.

During the forum, over 20 leading organizations are also showcasing their solutions to address the health challenges in Africa.