Business and Investment Opportunities in Healthcare in Africa.
As the cost of medical care continues to increase in many developed countries (e.g., United States), as well as in some developing nations, with no or little improvement in population level health indicators (e.g., infant mortality), the limits to curative, clinical medicine becomes apparent. As a result, public health leaders and health system administrators turn to consider the roles that disease prevention and health promotion might play for improving population-level health status.
While Africa has made significant progress in health outcomes, ensuring universal access to quality healthcare remains a key challenge. Africa’s health challenges include poor infrastructure, counterfeit drugs, shortage of health workers and poor access to quality health services. A large population, widespread poverty, and conflicts have all contributed to poor health outcomes experienced across the continent. With 24% of the global disease burden and 11% of the world’s population, sub-Saharan Africa commands less than 1% of the world’s health expenditure. Despite decades of foreign aid, approximately 36% of total health expenditure is financed by out-of-pocket payments.
Despite all these constraints, business and investment opportunities in health in Africa are on the rise. By 2005, foreign investment in sub-Saharan Africa increased to $18 billion from $6
billion in 2000.6 Increasing political stability and steady economic growth continue to contribute to the improving investment climate. Studies estimate that $25-30 billion in new investment is
needed in healthcare assets to meet the growing healthcare demands of sub-Saharan Africa.6
The demand for private healthcare presents a growing opportunity, and could add an additional $20 billion per year in investment.
Public Health Open J. 2020; 5(1): 11-13. doi: 10.17140/PHOJ-5-139