The Ministry of Health in partnership with the Uganda Healthcare Federation (UHF) have asked potential private health care investors to join them to help the East African country achieve the Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
UHC means that all people and communities can use the promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative health services they need, of sufficient quality to be effective, while also ensuring that the use of these services does not expose the user to financial hardship.
The minister of Health Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng revealed the need for private players in the health sector during the private health convention at the Golf course hotel on Wednesday.
The convention ran under a theme, “Achieving UHC: The inevitable role of private health sector investment”.
The minister said that the newly adopted multi-sector approach towards sustainable development, in particular, recognizes the need for private investment if Uganda is to achieve UHC.
“I request private companies, pharmaceuticals, hospitals, and private investors to invest in health care services especially in Uganda where the demand is high. By doing this, you will be supporting government’s effort to achieve UHC and transform the Economy.” She said.
Aceng’s reactions follow the keynote presentation of Maina Sahi, the Director Strategy, Health & Education, Africa & South Asia, an expert in health and education investment with CDC Group, in the UK which was titled “Leveraging private investment to achieve Universal Health Coverage”
Sahi shared her international perspective on health sector investment and formed a rally to call the private sector, government, and health development partners to broaden and deepen their thinking on private sector participation in the health system to yield better results and health indicators.
In support of her presentation, also Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Dr. Diana Atwine said that in order for the health sector to be closely monitored, private sector partners must also come on the board.
“The major determinants of health need to be closely monitored if the health status of the citizens is to improve; access to sanitation and safe water, levels of income and education, housing conditions, cultural beliefs, social behaviors, climate change and access to quality health services. The private sector needs to closely monitor the social determinants of health if we are to achieve UHC in record time,” said Atwine.
The UHF Executive Director, Grace Ssali Kiwanuka said the convention will have to examine essential health system issues that enhance and those that hamper investment in not only service delivery, but through all six World Health Organisation (WHO) pillars of the health system as well as influence health consumer behavior.
“At the core of the convention is the philosophy that the Private Sector is essential to advancing UHC; what is good for the economy, is good for the overall health and well-being of our nation, especially as we journey toward achieving the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), universal health coverage and Uganda’s Vision 2040,” she said.
Over 200 participants attended the convention from a wide range of private sector players, including health service providers, manufacturers of health products and health program managers keen to hear what the future looks like for the private sector, as Uganda continues to work toward achieving UHC.
It was organized by the Ministry of Health together with the Uganda Healthcare Federation (UHF) with support from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) World Bank.
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