PHN, HSDF, Cambridge University, others in new partnership to address capacity gaps in health sector

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The National President of the Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals, Dr. Obinna Ogbonna,

A new private sector initiative has emerged in the health sector to tackle capacity gaps in the industry and develop the next generation of healthcare leaders who will excel in governance, management and quality healthcare service provision.

The initiative, Healthcare Leadership Academy (HLA), which is an intervention of the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria, Health Strategy and Delivery Foundation, alongside Cambridge University, Duke University, Lagos Business School, IHI and EpiAFRIC, is seeking plug leadership gaps in the health sector and reduce the level of health tourism from Nigeria to other parts of the world.
Speaking to the first cohort of selected participants during the launch of the Healthcare Leadership Academy, Muhammad Ali Pate, co-chair, Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria said, “there is leadership and management deficit at different levels of the health care system that impede the delivery of expected quality care. This developmental gap is made evident by the low productivity and skill set of healthcare workers and the poor financial health of the institutions they manage.”
The HLA recognises these challenges and wasestablished to respond to them using an innovative approach.
The Private Sector Health Alliance and HSDF brokered and convened partners and institutions to develop the Healthcare Leadership Academy to incorporate leadership, quality improvement and private sector business management approaches in the provision of quality care and governance of institutions.
The course is being delivered by global experts from Cambridge Judge Business School, Institute for Health Improvement and Duke University in the United States of America alongside Lagos Business School and EpiAfric. The first cohort of participants selected for the program were shortlisted following a screening exercise of submissions by the various healthcare providers.
Graduates of this flagship programme will be armed with requisite skill set to bring about transformational and sustainable changes to their facilities and communities upon completion of the program in December 2015.

Muntaqa Umar-sadiq, CEO, Private Sector Health Alliance, said the Healthcare Leadership Academy is a public-private collaboration designed to institutionalise leadership as well as private sector business and financial management approaches in the public health system. “The HLA is an important step in developing synergies between the capabilities of the private sector and the severe gaps in the leadership and managerial capacity of public healthcare institutional leaders,” Umar-sadiq said.

He added that “the HLA is a bold innovation that pooled non-traditional but complimentary partnerships to build health worker and policy maker capacity and disrupt the poor health system performance.”

Kelechi Ohiri, CEO of HSDF, pointed out that the balanced scorecard approach of the program that would deliver world class content and ensure capabilities are built across four critical areas – namely, Financial Management, Leadership and Organisational Development, Quality Improvement; and Population Health – with the content adapted to the local context and a ‘field and forum’ approach that combines in-class didactic curricula with real life, hands-on projects that are relevant to their respective organisations.
Afua Osie, director, Cambridge Judge Business School Executive Education, stated that given the commitment and partnership that catalysed the emergence of the HLA, it has the potential to be the premier institution for building leadership capabilities in the African health sector.
Chikwe Ihekweazu, founding partner, EpiAfric, added that the course content will be delivered over 10 weekends by global experts who have extensive experience in teaching executives and policymakers. ‘Unique for a course of this kind, is the subsequent 9 month fellowship which ensures that the capabilities built in each of the aforementioned areas are directly applied to their respective healthcare organisations to improve system performance and health outcomes’.

Shola David-Borha, CEO, Stanbic IBTC Bank and board member, Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria, while formally inaugurating the first class of the HLA, called on other private sector companies to join the platform provided by the Private Sector Health Alliance to offer their capabilities and resources to complement government’s effort in dramatically improving health outcomes through innovation and partnerships.

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