There is a widespread drive to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Africa in the next decade, and primary healthcare provides the programmatic engine for achieving this vision. Over the past few years, as achieving UHC has become a political priority for African governments, African leaders have recognized the critical role that the private sector in their countries can play in achieving UHC, not only to achieve their countries’ healthcare goals, but also to ensure the health and growth of their national economies. However, current conditions in many healthcare systems in sub-Saharan Africa offer a disincentive for the private sector to invest in primary healthcare in the region.
“‘Double Blended’ Financing: The Key to Sustainable Business Models for Primary Health Care in Africa,” written by Health Finance Coalition (HFC) parnters Jan-Willem Scheijgrond, Annette Jung, representing Royal Philips; and John Simon, Femke Smeets, Allicen Dichiara, Bart Schaap, representing HFC partner organization Total Impact Capital, offer a solution to this challenge. This article argues that attaining UHC in sub-Saharan Africa requires leveraging public, private, and philanthropic sector capacity to create new service delivery and financing models that can strengthen primary health care (PHC) at a system-wide scale.
The authors further argue that to unlock new financing and spur private parties to invest and innovate in the primary care arena, it is critical to blend a mix of revenue sources and de-risking instruments at the project level – what the HFC calls taking a “capital stack approach.” This new approach can drive the necessary change: wide-spread adoption of innovations and new delivery models to reach everyone, not just the most affluent. This article calls on governments, donors, philanthropic foundations, and global healthcare corporations to work together to drive this change through innovative and sustainable financing and revenue mechanisms.
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