AS part of efforts to tackle capacity gaps in the health sector and develop the next generation of healthcare leaders who will excel in governance, management and quality healthcare service provision, a new private sector initiative, Healthcare Leadership Academy (HLA), has emerged. An intervention of the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PSHAN), Health Strategy and Delivery Foundation (HSDF), alongside Cambridge University, Duke University, Lagos Business School, Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, and advisory, research and capacity development for the health sector (EpiAFRIC), HLA seeks to plug leadership gaps in the health sector and reduce the level of health tourism from Nigeria to other parts of the world.
Co-chair, PSHAN, Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate, at the launch of the initiative told selected participants: “There is leadership and management deficit at different levels of the health care system that impede the delivery of expected quality care. This developmental gap is made evident by the low productivity and skill set of healthcare workers and the poor financial health of the institutions they manage.” The PSHAN, in a statement, noted that PSHAN and HSDF brokered and convened partners and institutions to develop the HLA to incorporate leadership, quality improvement and private sector business management approaches in the provision of quality care and governance of institutions.
According to the statement, “the course is being delivered by global experts from Cambridge Judge Business School, Institute for Healthcare Improvement and Duke University in the United States of America alongside Lagos Business School and EpiAfric. The first batch of participants selected for the programme were shortlisted following a screening exercise of submissions by the various healthcare providers. Chief Executive Officer (CEO), PSHAN, Muntaqa Umar-Sadiq, said the HLA is a public-private collaboration designed to institutionalise leadership as well as private sector business and financial management approaches in the public health system.
“The HLA is an important step in developing synergies between the capabilities of the private sector and the severe gaps in the leadership and managerial capacity of public healthcare institutional leaders.” Chief Executive Officer of HSDF, Kelechi Ohiri, pointed out that the balanced scorecard approach of the programme that would deliver world class content and ensure capabilities are built across four critical areas – namely, financial management, leadership and organisational development, quality improvement; and population health – with the content adapted to the local context and a ‘field and forum’ approach that combines in-class didactic curricula with real life, hands-on projects that are relevant to their respective organisations.
Director, Cambridge Judge Business School Executive Education, Afua Osie, stated that given the commitment and partnership that catalysed the emergence of the HLA, it has the potential to be the premier institution for building leadership capabilities in the African health sector. Founding partner, EpiAfric, Chikwe Ihekweazu, added that the course content will be delivered over 10 weekends by global experts who have extensive experience in teaching executives and policymakers. CEO, Stanbic IBTC Bank and board member, PSHAN, Shola David-Borha, while formally inaugurating the first class of the HLA, called on other private sector companies to join the platform provided by the PSHAN to offer their capabilities and resources to complement government’s effort in dramatically improving health outcomes through innovation and partnerships.