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Sharing insights critical to health funding

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Sharing of insights, perspectives and protocol are the cornerstone for healthcare funding and creation of special systems, an expert has said.

BY BUSINESS REPORTER

Speaking at the Association of Healthcare Funders of Zimbabwe conference recently, Numaan Mohamood, divisional director of member care at Liberty Health, stressed the importance of an ongoing conversation and collaboration.

“Funding healthcare and establishing quality systems requires sharing of insights, perspectives and protocols. While regulators and funders can play an oversight role in terms of value delivery and sustainability, healthcare providers are the stewards of patient health and must be active in the conversation,” he said.

A key concern for medical professionals on the African continent is income insecurity. The International Finance Corporation reports that 72% of African healthcare services are paid for out-of-pocket, which puts healthcare practitioners at huge financial risk, especially in times of economic downturn. This drives medical talent offshore and does not support the development of services in-country.

“Our core concerns as funders are sustainability and value — not just for patients, but for healthcare professionals too. They need to know that they will be paid fairly and timeously for services rendered,” Mohamood, who works with provider networks to ensure practitioners understand how fee structures and care protocols relate to the long-term sustainability of funders, said.

He said insurers need to gain the trust of provider networks. In the past, small insurers have gone to market with selective membership products. Due to their less comprehensive product offering, these providers are unable to accommodate funding for
secondary and tertiary services, resulting in limited hospital coverage and reduced access to tertiary care Mohamood said.

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