Launch of Healthcare Federation of South Africa

L-R Prof. Khama Rogo (World Bank), Dr. Amit N. Thakker (AHF), Dr. Evelyn Rotich (CEC Health Kenya), Dr. Precious Matsoso (Dept. of Health South Africa), Ms. Zola Mtshiya (BHF), Prof. Morgan Chetty (IPAF) and Dr. Katlego Mothudi (BHF) during the launch of HFSA

21st July 2019 marked a historic day for the private healthcare sector of South Africa at the Cape Town International Conference Centre. Under the hospice of the Dr. Precious Matsoso (Director General, Department of Health South Africa), Dr. Amit N. Thakker (President, Africa Healthcare Federation) and the leadership of Prof. Morgan Chetty (Chairman, IPAF), healthcare leaders convened for the launch of the Healthcare Federation of South Africa (HFSA).

Prof Morgan Chetty (Chairman KZNDHC), in his opening remarks, emphasized that there is a greater need for a strong and united health sector to ensure accessible, affordable quality healthcare to all South African citizens. As part of the SDGs goals there is need for strengthening partnerships to help achieve the UHC. The Healthcare Federation of South Africa (HFSA) will provide the platform to help deliver this partnership by unifying the private health sector and facilitate open and constructive dialogue between the two sectors, joint decision making and develop solutions to help solve the existing gaps in the country’s healthcare systems.

According to Prof. Khama Rogo (Head of Health in Africa Initiative, World Bank), “the reason why Africa did not reach the SDGs targets in 2015 is because there is a major divide between state and non-state actors and will continue not achieving  health goals until and unless they harness the full potential of non-state actors. South Africa needs to follow the example of the other African countries and start a dialogue between private and public sectors towards one goal – to solve the health problems and improve the health status of the people”.

“It is time to recognise the critical role the private-sector providers and other actors can and must play,” said Dr. Matsoso. “The private healthcare federation is a formalised platform of all health-care stakeholders to facilitate public-private dialogue and this must be a partnership and not a private solution to a public problem,” she said.

Dr. Amit Thakker, President of Africa Healthcare Federation and Chair of Kenyan Healthcare Federation emphasised how the unified voice has helped build trust between the government and private sector through continuous public private dialogue at the regularly held County Stakeholder Forums (CSF), Ministerial Stakeholder Forums (MSF) and the bi-annual Presidential Round Tables (PRT). This has helped to better map the increasing role of the private health sector as well as spur healthcare investments in the country.