Despite providing an extensive range of healthcare services, Nigeria’s healthcare sector regrettably remains chronically underfunded. Without adequate investment, the sector’s expansion will continue to be hampered. The Netherlands Consulate in Lagos commissioned PharmAccess Foundation to conduct a Market research Study exercise on the Nigerian Health Sector, in a bid to provide stakeholders, such as the Dutch top sector Life-Science-Health (LSH) with an understanding of the challenges and opportunities in the Nigerian health sector and highlight ways to influence the Health Market positively.
The Netherlands Consulate in Lagos in a coordinated effort with PharmAccess Foundation hosted a workshop to validate the “Nigerian Health Sector Market Study”. The key objectives of the workshop were to offer insight into the key findings from the ongoing Health Market Study exercise and to secure inputs from critical stakeholders in the healthcare industry to validate the findings. The workshop indicated an overview of the health sector, its current priorities and trends, key public and private health players, and their specific needs, with a focus on the private health sector. Areas of interest included health infrastructure investments, medical tourism, health insurance, telemedicine, the Nigerian Pharmaceutical Markets, and other areas where prospective Dutch companies can add the most value.
The Conference was declared open, by the Netherlands Consul-General Lagos, Mr. Michel Deelen. In his welcome address, he described the strategic purpose of the Validation Workshop, which was to equip Dutch companies with the right market information on how to better position and collaborate with Nigerian healthcare businesses to maximize identified opportunities. He emphasized that the workshop was not designed to appraise healthcare from an international corporate perspective alone, but rather to have a holistic perspective of the market, to see how Dutch companies can engage better with the Nigerian Market. “We want to see new partnerships, but to start this, we need the information to know what and where the opportunities are”, he remarked.
The Director of the Department of Research, Planning and Statistic (DRPS), Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Ngozi R.C. Azodoh while delivering her remarks, highlighted the importance of building and investing in our own healthcare systems, to diminish medical tourism. “It’s time to think of ways to bridge the gap in the Nigerian health sector through investments, so as to curb medical tourism”, she said.
While delivering his speech, the honorable Commissioner for Health, Lagos State, Prof. Akin Abayomi, gave a run-down of the key findings of the Market Study and how they apply to the State. He laid emphasis on matters pertaining to infrastructure investment, brain drain, the pharmaceutical market, public-private partnerships (PPPs), and domestic vaccine manufacturing. He concluded by saying “we must be innovative, and design according to our environment”.
The presentation by PharmAccess Foundation showed the high-level findings and outlined the key objectives of the study, some of which included highlighting business cases recommendable for consideration by the Dutch Life-Science-Health (LSH) firms, making inputs where possible, and suggesting how Dutch LSH firms can position as Nigeria’s most innovative partners in healthcare development. The presentation described Nigeria as an attractive investment destination where external players and partners study our markets daily and make investment decisions based on their findings.
In a closing speech, PharmAccess Country Director, Mrs. Njide Ndili, lauded the Netherlands Consulate in Lagos for being so intentional and wilful in improving Nigeria’s healthcare system. She said: “I have never encountered a dedicated group of people that are truly very engaged in improving healthcare in Nigeria like the Netherlands Consulate”. She further asserted that no individual pillar could transmute the healthcare industry single-handedly, which is why everything PharmAccess does is interrelated and connected in a holistic manner.
The workshop hosted an array of key stakeholders, including Investors, medical practitioners, regulators, and MedTech entrepreneurs, amongst others. Hereafter, PharmAccess Foundation plans to take into consideration the additional information which should lead to completing the study and producing a comprehensive Market Study Report to be launched soon.