New group serves as official voice of the private health sector in Madagascar
A national census in Madagascar identified 3,090 private health facilities, representing more than half of all health facilities in the country. Despite its presence, the private health sector in Madagascar has been historically fragmented and unable to effectively represent its interests and engage in policy development. This is about to change with the formation of the Private Health Sector Group (Groupement du Secteur Privé de la Santé, GSPS), supported by SHOPS Plus. The GSPS will serve as the official voice of the private health sector to Madagascar’s Ministry of Health.
Identifying the need for a private sector group
In August 2019, SHOPS Plus organized the first Private Health Sector Trade Fair in Madagascar, bringing together more than 630 private and public health sector actors from around the country. During this event, stakeholders debated the idea of a private sector group that could represent and advocate for the interests of private health sector stakeholders. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic further highlighted the need for the private health sector to organize itself and form a unified voice.
From concept to creation
SHOPS Plus supported the establishment of Groupe SIS, a health information systems committee, to promote the role of the private sector in data reporting. The Groupe SIS initiated the process of formally creating the GSPS in 2020. During multiple working sessions, the committee developed a plan for GSPS, which defined its vision, structure, mission, objectives, and activities.
In June 2021, six private sector champions held a constitutional general assembly to approve the plan, select the president, and set up a management structure. The GSPS formally registered in July 2021. The goal is to have all segments of the private sector represented. For now, the founding members comprise health care providers and health mutuelles. The group is developing a strategic plan to implement priority activities such as training for private providers, communications, strengthening the legal framework for the private sector, and improving private sector reporting into the national information system.
The representation GSPS provides for the private health sector is critical to ensure effective public-private dialogue and engagement for better health outcomes in Madagascar.