“The only way we can realistically attain health equity is if governments and the private sector partner in an unprecedented way. So far we are not seeing this actualising; we are not seeing them truly come together,” said Dr Ernest Darkoh, BroadReach Group co-founder and internationally acclaimed healthcare implementer and thought leader, in his health tech keynote address on “reaching equitable access to quality care in Africa” at Africa Tech Fest in Cape Town today.
“Firstly, governments need to accept what they are good at and not good at, and institutionalise public-private partnerships as the standard operating model for innovative endeavours. Innovation by definition is the domain of entrepreneurs. These are your olympic athletes who you are sending forward to the 4IR olympics. Governments’ role is not to try to be the athlete, but to support and create the environment that supports and unleashes the potential of these athletes so that they can win. Winning means solving the grand challenges of our times through sustainable and scalable models that are appropriate for the local context.
“True partnership requires trust, taking risks and truly going out on a limb. Governments need to get comfortable with forming partnerships that may require a big leap of faith, because entrepreneurs can get things done. This is the only way we can achieve equitable healthcare at scale,” says Dr Darkoh, who also participated in the “Leveraging diverse expertise to maximise impact” panel. Dr Riyad Domingo, Founder and CEO of South Africa Makes and Dr Moredreck Chibi, Regional Advisor of WHO Africa in Kenya, were also on the panel.