Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala says his ministry will partner PharmAccess Foundation in hospitals to facilitate upgrade in the state. Dr Okpala gave the assurance when the team from PharmAccess Foundation paid advocacy visit to his office at the Jerome Udoji Secretariat Complex, Awka.
The commissioner said that the partnership was a welcomed development in the health sector of the state, noting that Gov. Willie Obiano had been emphasising how to improve the healthcare sector for functional service delivery to Ndi Anambra.
``Government has created enabling environment for investors to come in and equally ready for public private partnership with our hospitals.’’
Country Director PharmAccess, Mrs Njide Ndili said the Group’s Nigeria office opened in 2007 with a vision to increase access to affordable and better healthcare for people in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Mrs Ndili explained that PharmAccess mobilised public, private resources for the benefit of healthcare providers and patients through a combination of health insurance and loans to healthcare providers to ensure standardized service.
``PharmAccess has been working in the Nigeria healthcare sector for about 9 years, in the course of executing projects, we have realised that there is a lot of capacity for the personnel to be able to manage the facilities as businesses.
``We think it is important for us that we develop a curriculum in partnership with a credible business school that will teach healthcare professionals how to run their hospitals as businesses.
``We recognise the importance of supporting healthcare professionals in improving their skills in areas of business planning, leadership, quality and inventory management, thus strengthening their capacity to build sustainable businesses.’’
The country director said that healthcare professionals needed management skills in order to ensure profitable business in the system.
Programme Director PharmAccess Nigeria, Mr Uzodinma Osisiogu said that the aim of the advocacy visit was to partner with the ministry in order to improve the state’s healthcare sector.
``Our support activities are grouped into four work packages: Demand –side financing activities and Provider Assessment and Capacity building of state quality assurance teams.
Regulatory support to the State Provider Accreditation and Empanelment Agency; and Access to Finance framework to encourage private sector participation in the management of government owned primary healthcare Centres.
Osisiogu emphasised their goals to include providing technical assistance to states seeking to operate their mandatory health insurance law and to deepen engagements with federal, state ministries of health and primary healthcare development agencies.
It also included working with the state government to design and roll out the access to finance scheme for health SMEs under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.
The programme director commended the commissioner for seeing the reason and importance of team work.
He also thanked the Executive Secretary of Anambra State Health Insurance Agency (ASHIA), Dr Simeon Onyemaechi for allowing them to help in the area of technology.