NATHEALTH and Africa Healthcare Federation Signs Landmark Agreement

Umbrella organisations which are part of the private health sector of India and the African Union will work together to promote medical benefit travel, knowledge transfer and training, the growth of healthcare facilities and the manufacture of pharmaceutical goods within the geographies they serve.

The Healthcare Federation of India (NATHEALTH) and the African Healthcare Federation (AHF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). NATHEALTH is a leading supplier of healthcare facilities, medical technology suppliers (devices & equipment), laboratory service providers, health insurance agencies, health education institutions and health publishers in India. AHF is currently a pan-African umbrella body uniting 27 private federations under two regional federations, West African Health Federation (FAOSPS) and the East African Health Federation (EAHF). 
Preetha Reddy, President - NATHEALTH and Vice Chairperson, Apollo Hospitals, said, "NATHEALTH's partnership with the African Health Federation is a significant move forward in the construction of an all-new path for creating robust health environments for the future. Cross-country platforms such as this collaboration would allow the sharing of expertise, technology, science, medical education, bridge holes in our health systems and get us closer to our common objective of universal health coverage."
Dr. Amit Thakker, President - AHF and Executive Chairman, Africa Health Business said, "These unprecedented times have mobilised healthcare practitioners across the globe and opened the way for federations around countries to come together and map a way forward to resolve some of the long-standing institutional inequalities".
The aim of the Sustainable Medical Benefit Travel (MVT) section would be to add clarity to the referral mechanism/fees and the need for travel for care, seamless processing of VISA and immigration. Both parties will also depend on simple access of information on health services, including quality and cost differentials, uniform ranking mechanism, etc., and current accreditations, as well as on the development of dispute resolution mechanisms. The creation of partnerships for medical testing, emergency air evacuation, would also be a priority.
In the skills transition and preparation front, NATHEALTH and AHF will map emerging holes that require attention and look at the opportunities for e-learning and the use of other technology (simulation, expanded virtual reality, etc.) to minimise costs. They will also work towards the development of twinning programmes between Indian and African institutions and enhance the reach and capacity-building ability of local health care companies and financial intermediaries.
By assessing industry demand at both ends for investment, the two federations will also define gap areas and categorise the directions and policy measures required to safeguard investor interests and highlight the alternative funding frameworks available such as PE/VC funds, feasibility gap financing, impact investments, etc. Within the deal, the Task Force will also discuss opportunities to enhance the corporate climate by partnering with policymakers to develop public-private collaborations.
The federations are seeking to resolve the need for harmonisation of regulatory standards and developing skills for pharmaceutical production in GMP while partnering in the manufacturing, research and artificial intelligence segment.  
In both of the target areas, the federations have agreed to create a task force of seven to nine members representing AHF and NATHEALTH. Within three months, the members of the Task Force are expected to apply an action plan and primary results at the end of the year.

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