New Strategy Further Transforms Liberia's Health System
On November 9, 2021, Liberia’s Ministry of Health launched a new private sector engagement strategy, moving the country’s health system a step closer toward achieving universal health coverage. At the launch, representatives from the Ministry of Health, county health team, USAID/Liberia, and the private sector praised the government’s commitment to engaging the private health sector to tackle some of the country’s most pressing challenges, referring to the day as a historic moment.
The private sector in Liberia represents over one-third of the national healthcare market and four-fifths of the healthcare market in urban Montserrado county. An ever-expanding stakeholder, the private health sector has quadrupled in recent years, growing from 2 percent of total health expenditure in 2015 to 8 percent in 2018. The private sector’s share of the market makes it a crucial partner in the country’s efforts to expand access to effective, efficient, and equitable health services.
The result of a collaboration between USAID, the USAID-funded Health Policy Plus project, and the Ministry of Health, the Liberia Private Sector Engagement Strategy (2021–2023) provides a framework for transparent, informed, and effective engagement between the public and private health sectors. It highlights four goals to be implemented collaboratively between public and private stakeholders that focus on expanding access to and choice of health services, quality of care, and financial protection for clients. To implement the strategy, the Ministry of Health will establish a multisectoral private sector engagement technical working group, roll out the strategy at the county level, and train key focal persons on private sector engagement.
A county health team representative who spoke at the launch shared, “We are hopeful and want to…confirm our commitment for the continuous engagement and collaboration with the private sector…hopefully it will help us as we all work to improve the healthcare delivery services of Liberia.”