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Private healthcare providers of India, Africa plan mega collaboration

A MoU between the Healthcare Federation of India (NATHEALTH) and Africa Healthcare Federation (AHF) was signed today to increase investment and business in healthcare between India and Africa

twitter-logoJoe C Mathew | December 12, 2020 | Updated 22:38 IST
Private healthcare providers of India, Africa plan mega collaboration
The collaboration is expected to increase investment and business in healthcare between India and Africa

Umbrella organisations drawing membership from the private healthcare sector of India and African Union will collaborate to enhance medical value travel, skill transfer and training, development of healthcare infrastructure and manufacturing of pharmaceutical products within the geographies they represent.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Healthcare Federation of India (NATHEALTH) and Africa Healthcare Federation (AHF) was signed today. NATHEALTH represents leading healthcare service providers, medical technology providers (devices & equipment), diagnostic service providers, health insurance companies, health education institutions, healthcare publishers in India. AHF is a pan-African umbrella organisation currently unifying 27 private federations under two regional federations, The West African Healthcare Federation (FAOSPS) and the East African Healthcare Federation (EAHF).

The collaboration between the two federations is expected to increase investment and business in healthcare between India and Africa.  

"The partnership between NATHEALTH and Africa Health Federation is a significant step being taken, to create an all-new trajectory in building robust healthcare ecosystems of the future. Path breaking cross-country platforms such as this partnership, they will enable exchange of skills, technologies, research, medical education, bridge gaps in our health systems and take us closer to our shared goal of universal health coverage." Preetha Reddy, President - NATHEALTH and Vice Chairperson, Apollo Hospitals, said.

"These extraordinary times united healthcare professionals across the globe and have paved the way for federations across countries to come together and chart a way forward to address some of the long-standing structural gaps", Dr. Amit Thakker, President - AHF and Executive Chairman, Africa Health Business said.

Under the Sustainable Medical Value Travel (MVT) segment, the focus will be to bring transparency in referral mechanism/fees and the need of travel for treatment, for smooth VISA processing and Immigration. Both the parties will also focus on easy availability of information on health facilities including quality and cost differentials, standardised rating mechanism, etc. and existing accreditations and also look at establishing grievance redressal mechanisms. Establishing partnerships for diagnostic tests, emergency air evacuations will also be a priority.

On the skill transfer and training front, NATHEALTH and AHF will map the existing gaps that need attention and look at the potential for e-learning and use of other technologies (simulation, augmented virtual reality, etc.) to bring down the costs. They will also work towards establishing twinning programmes between Indian and African institutions and improve scope and potential for building capacity of local health care companies and financial intermediaries.

The two federations will also identify gap areas by gauging industry interest on both ends for investments and categorise the ways and policy interventions needed to safeguard investor interests and highlight the alternate financing mechanisms available like PE/VC funds, viability gap funding, impact investments, etc. Under the agreement, the task force will also look at ways to improve the business environment by working with governments to expand public-private partnerships.

On collaboration in manufacturing, research and artificial intelligence segment, the federations are trying to address the need for harmonization of regulatory requirements and building expertise for pharmaceutical manufacturing in GMP.  

The federations have decided to set up a task force with seven to nine members representing AHF and NATHEALTH in each of the focus areas. In three months, the task force members are expected to present an action plan and key outcomes expected at end of one year.

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