THT forum charges providers on future of healthcare industry

A foremost Health Maintenance Organisation (HMO), Total Health Trust Limited (THT), has charged healthcare providers to understand the future of healthcare and prepare to seize the opportunities that it brings.

Participants at the 2017 THT Providers Forum, held last week in Lagos, observed that the healthcare landscape is changing globally with information technology at the center stage of this move. Electronic medical records (EMR), electronic claims management and data analytics are just a few of these global changes trickling into the Nigerian healthcare space.

The theme of the Forum is “The Future of Healthcare.”

A Health Financing Specialist with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Dr. Olamide Okulaja, said as a result of the Lagos State Health Scheme Law stipulating mandatory health insurance for all Lagos residents, the Lagos State Government is currently developing a framework that would facilitate the ability of private providers to access single digit loans from the Employment Trust Fund and the Bank of Industry.

Okujala in his presentation titled “Positioning Your Practice to Attract Capital Investors” said the HiA-IFC and PharmAccess Foundation support the initiative, through a partnership of the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment and the Ministry of Health. He said the objective is to enable providers access funds to deliver quality healthcare services in anticipation of the Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme, which would be delivered through private and public facilities.

Okujala said the IFC is also considering investing in the framework to increase the loan size available to recipients and would facilitate access to finance to all healthcare providers across the health value chain including hospitals, pharmacies, and laboratories among others.

He said certain criteria must be met to be eligible to participate in the framework. Some of these criteria include registration as a Limited Liability company, verifiable corporate governance structures including a board of directors, payment of taxes, evidence of profitability and technical capacity, and the availability of current practicing licenses for all facility staff. Okulaja charged the providers to get their facilities in order to access these funding opportunities.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Total Health Trust, Mr. Nick Zaranyika, emphasized the value that THT places on its providers and called on providers to continue to work in partnership with the company to deliver quality healthcare to its members and to the general Nigerian population.

The event, which was well attended by Medical Directors/CEOs of THT’s provider network, was well received with participants providing positive feedback given the quality and usefulness of the information to their practices.

Reflecting on the changes that have taken place in the medical sector over the past 10 years, Medical Director, Afrimed Specialist Hospital, Dr. Ojo, stressed on the need for government to maintain strong political will to drive health reforms and policies whilst the Deputy Director, Clinical Services and Head, Managed Care Department of Eko Hospital, Dr. Chukwukelu, spoke on the need for hospitals to understand and embrace health insurance and managed care as the new sustainable funding option for health facilities. She also stressed on the rising consumerism culture in healthcare, which requires providers of healthcare to adapt and embrace Clinical Governance and patient centered care principles in discharging health services.

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