Regional Health Funders Set To Deliberate On Stronger Health Systems

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By Mandipa Masenyama

MEDICAL aid societies from the Southern Africa region coalescing under the   Board of Health Funders (BHF) umbrella, are set to converge in Cape Town- South Africa next month to deliberate on ways to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic and build stronger health systems.

Dubbed leading change in strengthening the health ecosystem, the conference will commence on May 18 to May 21.

The aim of the conference is to foster strategic innovations aimed at strengthening the healthcare system.

BHF said in a statement the redirection of resources brought by Covid-19 has led to poor funding to other sectors in the health system.

“The redirection of resources to fight the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted healthcare systems globally and across Africa, forcing stakeholders to adapt at an accelerated speed,” the statement reads.

The managing director of BHF, Katlego Mothudi said the pandemic brought a lot of challenges to an already paralysed healthcare system, which worsened the situation specifically in Africa.

“Covid-19 has brought a lot of trauma to an already challenged healthcare system, particularly in Africa. One of the biggest lessons for us was that we must adapt and accelerate efforts to address our healthcare challenges and align across sectors to lead change in promoting access to quality care for the health citizen,” Mothudi said.

The conference will be anchored around World Health Organisation’s (WHO) building blocks which are service delivery, health workforce, health information systems, access to essential medicines, financing and leadership/governance.

However, other sectors are going to be tackled, which include the current state of health across the region, analysis of the National Health Insurance Bill, framework to accelerate gender equality in health care and addressing possible emerging health risks across the region, among others.

The Board of Healthcare Funders is a representative body of medical aid societies. The body represents medical schemes from countries which include South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Malawi and Switzerland.