Health Care Federation of Nigeria

unnamed 9At the start of our healthcare financing workshop – bridging the divide between finance and healthcare, the President of the Healthcare Federation of Nigeria Mrs Clare Omotsaye set the scene for the day. Her message was clear, healthcare professionals have to become empowered to address real issues in financing and provide value to the patient and Nigerian economy. The opportunities are available to do this, but it is every healthcare professionals responsibility do develop the capacity to take advantage of these opportunities and attendance at this workshop was one of the ways to achieve this. The full transcript of her welcome remarks are provided below;

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it is really a pleasure for me to be here today to see you and to see the keen interest that we’ve had in this programme. I think when we were registering for this programme we had a limit of the number of people that we wanted to attend. And we had multiple registrations through the website and through HFN and we had to change the room last minute because this course or workshop actually became oversubscribed. And to our mind, in the HFN, it really shows the importance of the topic we are discussing today. For you to be here, you recognise the important role that healthcare plays in an economy.

Our country Nigeria is going through a very difficult period. Many of us know that it’s not just in the last 6 months that we have been in recession. Many of us know that Nigeria has been in denial for over a year and a half. And we have all gone through with our various businesses, different stages and we’ve seen that it is really difficult out there. But having said that for every time there is a challenge, there are equal opportunities. And we do hope that at the end of this workshop today that you will be fully armed to take advantage of these opportunities that present us.

unnamed 2It’s been over two weeks since our HFN Training Workshop- Bridging the Divide between Finance and Healthcare and we are still receiving positive feedback on the impacts from our participants.

Dr. Saliu a medical doctor and workshop participant who said the “conference was a big eye opener on the rudiments of financial management, the lingua of the financial world, the need to be knowledgeable on the business angle of healthcare provision and the development of profitable healthcare business models” to Dr. Mathew Kolade Amusan, who took the time and effort to send us an email which read “I would like to use this medium to appreciate the HFN team for organising such a fantastic conference on healthcare financing at the Medic West Africa conference, it was life transforming” By all accounts the workshop which had 5 separate sessions on healthcare financing topics and over 200 participants in attendance was a resounding success. But if you missed it here are a few highlights from the conference

Screen Shot 2015 11 20 at 23.29.53Healthcare Federation of Nigeria held a networking dinner in collaboration with PharmAccess Foundation and International Financing Corporation. The event which had various dignitaries  in the health sector in attendance was held on the 11th November 2015 at Four Points By Sheraton Hotel, Oniru Estate, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The event was held to host the visiting  leadership of the Health- In-Africa team of the International Finance Corporation  as well as a good forum for the leadership of the Health-in-Africa IFC team, Healthcare entrepreneurs and practitioners to build formidable partnerships for Healthcare Development. 

Speakers at upcoming conference

DR. LEKE PITAN, FORMER COMMISSIONER FOR HEALTH, LAGOS STATE

Dr. Leke Pitan, former Commissioner for Health in Lagos State between 1999 and 2006, is a seasoned public health practitioner and a consummate administrator known for pioneering key public-private initiatives in the state health sector while on the saddle. He is a member of the Forum on Evidence-Based Health Policy-Making of the Nigerian Academy o f Science. He is Chairman of the Project Advisory Committee of the Ford Foundation’s Health Journalists’ Immersion Programme on Maternal, Child and Newborn Health. He is also the Executive Director of Pitman UK Training Centre in Nigeria. Dr. Pitan has garnered many awards and recognition for his countless contributions to the development of the health sector of the nation. He brings his wealth of experience to enrich the discussion about how equipment leasing can be harnessed as a means of healthcare financing.

Heaklthcare_financingThere are multiple challenges currently facing the healthcare industry in Nigeria. Some of these include access to quality and affordable health care as well as access to finance. Access to finance has been a constant challenge with increased budgetary constraints on the government side in light of decreasing crude oil prices, which is the mainstay of Nigeria’s rent-oriented economy. 

In addition to the foregoing, healthcare costs have been on the rise in recent times. The introduction of technology into healthcare provision has shortened the lifespan of medical equipment or technology so that a new technology replaces the forerunner in a matter of few years. This is also the case for other equipment and tools needed to provide healthcare. Dramatically, all these are within the context of a global economy just recovering from the Global Recession of 2008-2011 with the effects still noticeable.

As a result of the foregoing, new and innovative methods of financing beyond the traditional approaches have to be explored.

One of these innovative ways is medical equipment leasing.

Equipment leasing is the process of securing the use of machinery and equipment related to one’s business by way of a rental agreement. Many industries make use of equipment leasing. This might be an ideal situation for a new business or an established business with little working capital so that the financial resources that otherwise would have purchased the equipment, can be tailored to more pressing needs.

Globally, Equipment Leasing is now recognised and established as a creative financing alternative, used to meet the world’s equipment needs. As at 2014, the global leasing industry accounted for an annual turnover of about $750 billion while in the US, leasing remains the single most widely-used method of external finance, representing 30% of investment in capital equipment.

The story is not a sad tale back home.

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