(Tuesday, November 9, 2021, Congo Town, Liberia)—the Ministry of Health and partners on Tuesday, November 9, 2021, rollout a two-year Private Sector Engagement Strategy, which is designed to structure engagement between the Ministry of Health and the private health sector. It seeks to strengthen the private sector’s contribution to achieve the nation’s health goals.
Even though engagement between the Ministry of Health and the private health sector has a long history, this strategy aims to structure collaboration and dialogue between the two parties to achieve common long-term objectives. It was drafted through series of consultations with stakeholders from across the Ministry of Health and within the private health sector. It also includes areas of collaboration identified as those of mutual interest to both sectors.
Serving as chief launcher of the strategy, Liberia’s Health Minister, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah outlined significant progress being made by the ministry under her watch relative to annexing smooth collaboration and coordination between both sectors.
“It is important we have this collaboration because the private sector is a major contributor to what’s happening in the government sector. If you don’t have a well-organized private sector, thing will be going but it’s will be going …”, Dr. Jallah asserted.
The private health sector has grown form 2 percent to 8 percent of total health expenditure over the 2015-2018 period. This shows that private health facilities in Liberia represent 37 percent of the national healthcare market and this representation increases to 80 percent in urban areas. The level of penetration of the private sector varies greatly by county, with most of the private health sector situated in Montserrado county. Any effective and sustained effort to leverage the private sector resents an opportunity for enhance access to quality services, particularly in urban areas where most of the private sector operates.
However, espousing on access to and choice of health services in which the Ministry should play a leadership role, the keynote of speaker of the day, Dr. Jabbeh, called the Ministry to create an enabling environment for private sector engagement.
“Recent the Ministry of met with the Health federation of Liberia. And so during that consultative process the Ministry of Health was able to set some key priority areas that would also align with the Ministry of Health’s vision, mission, the guidance principles and strategic goals and objectives.
“What is the role of each sector? For the Ministry of Health primary role is to provide oversight and execute this strategy, working in collaboration with HFL designated representatives,” remarks Dr. Jabbeh.
Giving importance of the launch was Minister George Jacobs: “we want to train health workers in the private sector so they can be on path with their colleagues in the public sector. So these things we are working on to see how to strengthen the private sector to achieve quality in the attainment of universal health coverage.
“Now that we have launched the private sector engagement strategy, moving forward it will provide us an opportunity for the private sector to help us in the health sector, so that we expand our scope of operations. We need the private sector if we should have a wider scope for family planning, among several other activities that are out there. They have a role to play—in the same that we need them they also need us,” Dr. Logan in closing remarks.
The keynotes speaker underscored the need for both parties to work together in the common interest of the Liberian, through the provision of quality healthcare services that would meet universal health benchmark.
Director of Communications, MOH, RL