Ryculture Health and Social Innovation hosted it’s first consultatory/public discussion at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) on 15th of February 2018. The session brought together enthusiastic university students from different faculties, worth mentioning from the college of health sciences, highest attendance being Bachelor of Pharmacy students and Bsc. Actuarial Science students.
The session was facilitated by Dr. Ambrose A. Nyangao (MBCHB, MPH, Post graduate training in Health Systems Management and Global Sustainable Social Entrepreneurship [GSSE]), Mr. Peter (NHIF), and Ms. Isabel (NHIF).
Healthcare Financing was broadly discussed as a driver towards the realization of Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC) bearing in mind that majority of Kenyans are not able to access care because of the cost implications. Health is a critical aspect of our existence and ability to contribute to our societies and as such without access to healthcare, we are deficient in our functioning.
According to WHO declaration, UHC espouses access to key promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative healthcare services without facing financial, geographical or any other constraints.
The key talking points were:
Forms of healthcare financing
Role of big data and data analytics in healthcare financing
Role of technology in optimization of healthcare financing
The emerging trends and opportunities in healthcare financing
Role of regulatory bodies in health insurance
Healthcare financing has two ends i.e. demand and supply side and much attention has been given to the demand side of healthcare financing. Supply end encompasses the funding for health infrastructures (facilities), workforce remuneration, medical equipment and supplies, medicines and drugs. Demand aspect accounts for the funds required to cater individual patients’ healthcare needs directly. Supply end of healthcare financing in public healthcare systems is the role of the government and is supposed to be funded by taxes and public government revenues.
Demand side of healthcare financing is serviced in various forms i.e. out of pocket payments which is the most prevalent and very risky as it requires an individual to have money in order to access care in case of sickness. Others forms of financing include; community based healthcare insurance, government financing coupled with donor funding of healthcare, public insurance scheme e.g. NHIF, and private insurance.
Big data and data analytics is a critical component when assessing the modalities for healthcare financing. This has value in basing of the unit cost of care of each patient in relation to relative incidences of disease prevalence, population and the use of the statistical findings to make decisions in care of patients. Big data is important in the assessment of whether the population is in a position to cater for their medical needs, the diseases prevalence, their lifestyles which are linked to some medical conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular conditions etc. With such data, analysis can be done to come up with valuable insights and deductions to influence budgeting, planning and execution of healthcare financing plans of a country, organizations, companies or even an individual.
Technology has had a great role in the context of healthcare financing ranging from data collection, information retrieval and sharing, budgeting, running simulations on demographics and allocations of funds, disease mapping and financial budgeting, medication and treatment which will influence the cost of care as the technological appliances and skills have financial value which are accounted for in the cost of care being delivered. Biometrics have been used in recognition and identification of individuals at the point of care as well as in care determination in various cases. Telemedicine is being adopted in various nations and this has cut down on the cost of care as it saves patients logistical costs towards access to health facilities.
Their is need to work towards the realization of UHC and this calls for investment on different fronts that will ensure everyone everywhere can access healthcare without facing financial hardships. These include investment in infrastructure, health workforce and promotive/preventive services to reduce burden of disease. With optimal financing models, we will be able to realize this goal and as such the need for us to rethink our financing models basing on the desired outcomes.
Read the full report here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1o05R2xacRoxLqqXcpZZk_5R221fGqdW4/view