Pula Medical Aid to represent Botswana at 18th Board of Health Funders in South Africa

With Government progressing towards implementing the National Health Insurance (NHI), the 18th Annual Board of Health Funders (BHF) Conference is appropriately themed Private Sector Embracing Universal Healthcare. The theme is centred on how the private healthcare sector can embrace the move towards universal healthcare, identify areas for inclusive participation and effectively prepare for the changes ahead.

Speaking ahead of the 18th Annual Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF) Southern Africa Conference, Zola Mtshiya of BHF Southern Africa says, “As with any change, the journey towards universal healthcare will present new challenges. However, the promise of partnership, political will and good leadership might make the journey ahead a lot easier than we have all imagined. Partnering towards universal healthcare seems the most prudent move to ensure our industry participates fully in this development.”

The 18th annual BHF Southern Africa conference will be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 16 to 19 July 2017. The conference will be a platform for the private healthcare sector to explore new territory and identify areas in which they can become involved in the implementation of NHI in South Africa. It is also an opportunity for other SADC countries to explore how they can start preparing to implement the NHI.

Key issues to be discussed at the conference will include defining the role of the private sector in implementing the NHI, and why the private healthcare sector needs to evolve. Due to recent developments in South Africa’s economy, the conference will also look at the implications of junk status for the healthcare industry.

The gathering will bring together healthcare experts and leaders from around the world. Case studies on country experiences will be presented by speakers from the USA, Kenya, Ghana, and Croatia. Dr Elizabeth Fowler, Vice President for Global Health Policy at Johnson & Johnson, who is credited as the architect of Obamacare in the USA, will share her insights and learnings from her experiences as the USA Special Assistant to former US President Barack Obama on Healthcare and Economic Policy at the National Economic Council. She spearheaded the implementation of the March 2010 Affordable Care Act (popularly known as Obamacare), which was designed to increase the quality and affordability of health insurance in America.

Other speakers include Dr Amit Thakker, Chairman of the Africa Healthcare Federation from Kenya and Nathaniel Otoo, former CEO of National Health Insurance Authority in Ghana, from Botswana, Dr Thato Moumakwa, Principal Officer, Pula Medical Aid Fund. Further insights will be shared by Dr Tihomir Strizrep, former managing director of Croatia’s National Health Insurance Fund and Dr Niti Pall, the medical director at KPMG Global Healthcare Practice in the United Kingdom.

“While government takes the lead, the value and contributions that the private industry can bring to the process is recognised throughout the world, and its expertise, infrastructure, experience, and capabilities will help deliver on the promise to ‘leave no one behind’. “It is therefore important that all healthcare players begin to look beyond fear and limitation, and look into the future, ready to embrace the opportunities that lie ahead,” says Mtshiya.