African healthcare professionals attending the Africa Health Leaders Forum in Johannesburg on Thursday called for collaboration, reliable leadership and investment in the sector to improve the performance and achieve universal health access.
Zambian Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya called for more investment in the sector.
“The current mechanisms to fund healthcare were not yielding dividends and that new innovative funding models were required,” he said.
He believed that there was a need for infrastructure and technology to support the sector in the continent.
Chilufya said it was imperative that leadership in health took cognisance of this, saying “political will is indispensable to good health systems”.
Clyde Lewis, the commercial officer for GE Healthcare in Africa, said the continent should increase access, reduce costs and improve quality of care.
He gave an example of Nelson Mandela Hospital which has a new technology that allows for the centralizing of images that could be viewed by all the health professionals treating a particular patient.
“While more point of care technology was needed, Africa could take advantage of the artificial intelligence and other technology that was already available in other parts of the world,” he said.
Ola Orekunrin, managing director of Flying Doctors in Nigeria, said Africa faced financial and resources constraints, therefore politicians and technology experts should pitch in.