Policy harmonisation and collaboration amongst governments will play an important role in the ability of African countries to achieve UHC goals. Many African countries are already making progress towards UHC, however, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the availability and the ability of health systems to provide undisrupted health services. The private sector can contribute in policy harmonisation by pooling resources (both technical and financial), sharing information, and increasing collaboration with governments to ensure the efficient evaluation of health technologies.
Policy harmonisation and universal health coverage (UHC)
Healthcare policy harmonisation is the streamlining of regulation systems across multiple countries. Moving towards UHC requires strengthening health systems in all countries, and harmonisation of healthcare policies is key. Efforts to harmonise healthcare policy in Africa are still at the nascent stage and yet to realise their potential. As African countries advance efforts to achieve UHC, there is widespread recognition that we will not reach our goals without innovation of all kinds. Regulatory approvals are essential in ensuring the quality, safety, and efficacy of health products, but when regulatory processes are not aligned across African countries, these tools are prevented or delayed from reaching those who need them most. In addition, many regulatory agencies are under-resourced and over-burdened, creating bottlenecks and backlogs.
Challenges in policy harmonisation