Africa loses well over an estimated $ 1 billion on medical tourism every year, according to a report by the World Bank. This reality – cited by many experts as one of Africa’s most daunting healthcare challenges – threatens to derail Africa’s future growth prospects.

“African sickness is basically subsidizing the development of private healthcare systems abroad” laments Pascal Mukadi, Chairman of Medical Fund Management (MFM) – a South African-based firm. “We’re exporting money & patients to foreign countries & financing foreign medical infrastructure – while neglecting our own.”
“That’s one of the main challenges I’m working to address” he says.

Founded in 2009, MFM manages healthcare funds for individuals, organizations & governments across Africa. Through his company, Mukadi seeks to develop African healthcare by encouraging global partnerships, service partnerships & technologies.

Over the long-term, he wants to promote sustained investment in African medical & research infrastructure across the continent. He envisions a future where African medical tourism is a minor trend – not a major phenomenon.

“Medical tourism should be regarded as a luxury for Africans – not a necessity” advises Mukadi. “In many places on the continent, this is not the case.”
“We need to build our capacity to provide our people with world-class medical care.”

To further his vision, the seasoned entrepreneur has taken a two-pronged approach – driving his development objectives through both MFM as well as through the Pascal Mukadi Foundation, an NGO he recently established. Through the NGO, he champions projects aimed at solving community healthcare challenges across the continent, as well as developing leadership & social innovation. He sees this mission as being a collaborative one, and looks forward to partnering with governments, major corporations & research institutions from around the world.

“Empowering African healthcare requires smart partnerships” advises Mukadi. “And it will take a coordinated effort across different channels – some which are explicitly profit-oriented as well as those which take a non-profit approach.”

“Through MFM & the Pascal Mukadi Foundation, I want to address Africa’s healthcare malaise from both angles.”

Mukadi is clear about the scope of the challenges he faces; corruption remains an endemic barrier to effective healthcare in Africa. African countries struggle to retain skilled medical professionals. Still, he is optimistic & energized about the prospects for success.

“If just a small handful of key stakeholders come together to tackle our healthcare issues, we can go far towards reversing our over-reliance on medical tourism that is draining our resources” Mukadi says. “If we’re strategic in our in efforts, we can spark a continent-wide healthcare renaissance over the next decade.”

“I’m convinced of this,” he says. “I’m staking everything on it.”

Written by: Mambande Thomas

                      Editor MFM Media

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