An Effective Approach for Remote Technical Assistance for the Private Healthcare Sector in Tanzania
Introduction: The private sector plays essential roles in supporting Tanzania's health systems, including providing 50% of health services responding more to patient needs or preferences and employing a large proportion of the healthcare workforce. Private providers fill critical gaps in health services and products to complement the public sector and increased access to care and equity outcomes are associated with private healthcare providers. Technical capacity gaps in the private sector limit the ability of local healthcare enterprises to be a more significant part of the solution to healthcare access. BHS develops the capacity of local healthcare enterprises through remote technical assistance projects that are designed to sustainably increase their ability to deliver quality, affordable and accessible health products and services to families and communities. We work with local healthcare enterprises to meet their technical needs and build the skills and expertise of their staff.
Methods: BHS connects local private healthcare enterprises with highly skilled corporate volunteer experts through virtual projects that address local private healthcare enterprises' operational and technical needs.
Results: Since launching in 2019, BHS has facilitated specialized technical support to 10 healthcare enterprises across the healthcare value chain, including distributors, manufacturers, hospitals, clinics, and insurers. These projects have helped improve the quality of locally produced essential medicines and strengthened the supply chain of essential medicines and healthcare products/services. Examples include:
• increased order fulfillment rates, representing a 17% increase in essential drugs and other commodities otherwise out-of-stock across health facilities.
• 50% improvement in delivery time for urgent orders of essential medicines and other commodities to public health facilities: • reduction of quality control issues experienced in local manufacturing of essential medicines, evidenced by zero instances of market complaints or product recalls after BHS support, compared to an average of 8 per year previously.
Conclusion: Private sector capacity improvements can be achieved through remote technical assistance delivered by volunteer experts and facilitated by BHS. These projects increase the quality, affordability, and accessibility of healthcare products and services to patients in Tanzania.
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