Dr Niti Pall (UK)

Medical Director KPMG Global Healthcare practice

Visionary senior clinician who has combined clinical practice with an entrepreneurial edge to design and deliver new models of health care in the UK and international markets using an inclusive and creative style to ensure buy in from teams.

Highly skilled at building sustainable networks for improving patient care across boundaries, particularly with secondary care, the voluntary sector, governments and businesses.

Dr Niti Pall worked as a doctor in a thriving inner-city practice which integrated other practices and is now the largest general practice in the UK the Modality partnership .She has had many senior roles in commissioning in the UK NHS. She was a board member of Diabetes UK and is chair elect of the International Diabetes Federation Europe with strong links in healthcare both at the EU and the Council of Europe. She led the formation of Health India private Limited, a primary healthcare business set up with intent to redesign primary healthcare in India. Lead the venture as chairperson and MD. Recognised by the Wellcome trust and asked to contribute to a high level White paper on links between India and the UK.

Building on her Indian experience She worked for a year with HCL a technology company as their CMO to develop and scale a primary health care model in India .The first 8 clinics are launched and working.

In her last job she worked at BUPA in the International development markets and was responsible for the Medical and Innovation function across the funding and provision businesses across emerging markets. She helped create a new innovative model of low cost care with Telenor health in Bangladesh including micro insurance being closely looked at for a partnership model by the Bangladesh government. She helped establish clinics in China and Saudi Arabia and supervised clinics in Poland and Hong Kong .She helped create a system of health benefit management in India, Hong Kong, and Thailand. In India she worked closely with the government and Max Bupa on RSBY a low cost health insurance scheme.

She has been recognised by the Royal college of GPs by a special commendation for outstanding contributions to the discipline of primary care.

Elizabeth J. Fowler (USA)

Vice President for Global Health Policy at Johnson & Johnson

Elizabeth Fowler is currently Vice President for Global Health Policy at Johnson & Johnson where she is focused on delivery system and payment reform in the U.S. and health care systems reform in emerging markets. Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson, Liz was special assistant to President Obama on healthcare and economic policy at the National Economic Council. During the health reform debate in 2009-2010, she was Chief Health Counsel to Senate Finance Committee Chair, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), where she played a critical role in developing the Senate version of the Affordable Care Act. She also played a key role in drafting the 2003 Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act (MMA). Liz has nearly 25 years of experience in health policy and health services research. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, a Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, where her research focused on risk adjustment, and a law degree (J.D.) from the University of Minnesota. She is admitted to the bar in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Liz is a Fellow of the inaugural class of the Health Innovators Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Dr Ali Hamdulay (SA)

Chief Executive Officer: Metropolitan Health

Dr Ali Hamdulay has been recently appointed in the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Metropolitan Health and as the interim Chairman: Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF).

Having served the healthcare industry for over 18 years in many senior positions, Ali has developed vast expertise in healthcare business, administration and managed care. As a strategic thinker and leader, he’s successfully researched, planned and lead the implemented novel models of healthcare to improve the health business’ capabilities. In addition, he’s successfully provided leadership and management of large teams to improve business performance in delivering against its strategic objectives of growth, profitably and margin conversion.

Ali has a comprehensive understanding of the healthcare ecosystems, identifying critical role players in this ecosystem, markets dynamics, interdependencies and functioning. He’s has forged strong relationship across the supply side (health practitioners and facilities), funder community, regulatory bodies and government leaders, and has developed a prominent reputation in the health industry as an industry though leader. He has excellent communication skills and considerable media exposure contributing to several industry discourses via numerous conference presentations, radio interviews and print media.

After qualifying as a medical doctor from the University of Cape Town in 1998, Ali worked in the public health sector at Sebokeng Hospital, Gauteng, and Tygerberg Hospital in the Western Cape. Two years later, Ali moved into the private health provision leading the establishment of several successful primary healthcare practices in the Western Cape. In the interim, he completed his Master in Family Medicine, Cum Laude and was honoured with the publication of his research in the South African Family Practice Journal. He’s since completed several Executive Leadership programmes and a Commercial Negotiations course. He was further privileged to attend Harvard Business School (HBS) Executive Education: Value Measurement for Health Care presented by Prof Michael Porter and Michael Kaplan in 2014 which has further influenced his thinking on health outcomes models and value based healthcare.

Ali joined Metropolitan Health Risk Management as Clinical Advisor in the Clinical Best Practice Unit in 2007. Between 2008 and 2014, he held several executive positions in Disease Risk Management (DRM), Provider Management and the Health Policy & Provider Management Unit (HPP) before being appointed as the Executive Head of Clinical Risk Solutions in 2015. Reporting into the CEO of Metropolitan Health, the main objective of the position was to provide strategic direction, leadership and management of the managed care unit responsible for delivering health risk capabilities to enhanced value to shareholders, client and health citizens.

Dr Karen Freijer (Netherlands)

Market Access/Health Economics Manager, Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition, The Netherlands

Karen Freijer was born on 3rd of April 1967 in Amsterdam. After finishing secondary school at the Nieuw Lyceum in Hilversum (VWO in 1985) she first got her Board Secretary licence before starting the college education in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Applied Sciences (HvA, Amsterdam). In 1992 she received her Bachelor in Health Science degree, with specialization into methodology. After her graduation she worked in various functions: sales representative for Pfizer BV, temporarily in charge of a private dietician practice, nutritionist in nutritional food supplement companies and several functions within Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition (NAMN). Since 2007 she has been specializing in health economics and market access which in the end of 2011 resulted in starting her PhD study on Nutrition Economics at the University of Maastricht The Netherlands alongside her working career at NAMN and got her PhD degree in 2014. Together with three others, she founded a Special Interest Group on Nutrition Economics, which was officially acknowledged in 2014 as a first group with a focus on Nutrition by ISPOR (International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research) of which she is the chair (http://www.ispor.org/sigs/NutritionEconomics.aspx). Next to her Health Economics/Market Access management function in NAMN on Global as well as on a BeNeLuX level and chairing and further developing the ISPOR SIG Nutrition Economics, she also is still affiliated to the Maastricht University as a researcher in Nutrition Economics. She has written multiple international peer reviewed publications, is advisor for European nutrition organisations and is board member of international peer reviewed Journals.

Mike Sithole (SA)

Portfolio Manager: Old Mutual Wealth

Mike joined Old Mutual Wealth Private Client Securities in 2015 as a Portfolio Manager and is based in Johannesburg. He has over a decade’s experience in the financial services industry. He began his career at Investec Asset Management as a Relationship Manager in 2004. He then moved on to become a Senior Stockbroker at Investec for just under four years.

In 2009, Mike joined Stanlib as their Head of Fund Research and Analysis. Prior to joining PCS, he was a Senior Portfolio Manager at Ashburton Investments where he worked with high net worth clients. Mike holds a BCom degree from the University of South Africa and is a CFA Charterholder.

Dr Amit Thakker (Kenya)

Chairman of the Africa Healthcare Federation

A visionary, an entrepreneur, and an industry captain, Dr. Amit N. Thakker, has been a groundbreaking pioneer in the metamorphosis and integration of healthcare management in Africa.

Dr. Thakker is the Chairman of the Africa Healthcare Federation, Chairman of Africa Health Business Ltd., Founder and Board Director of the East Africa Healthcare Federation, Chairman of the Kenya Healthcare Federation and the Co-Founder of Avenue Healthcare.

In 2004, the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) created its health sector arm, the Kenya Healthcare Federation (KHF), and Dr. Thakker served as one its founding directors. In addition to influencing public policy, KHF actively voices its support and concerns and also provides alternative solutions to issues facing the health sector. The Federation is also dedicated to engaging the government and all relevant stakeholders in achieving quality healthcare by maximizing the contribution of the private sector in Kenya. Dr. Thakker was elected as Chairman of KHF in 2015. Under Dr. Thakker’s leadership as both Board member and subsequently Chairman, KHF has been the instrumental player in establishing the East Africa Healthcare Federation (EAHF) in 2012, which champions the same ideals at the regional level covering Burundi, Ethiopia, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and of course Kenya. The Federation brings private sector stakeholders together under one umbrella body to advocate for policy change and to champion the interests of the private health sector in the region.

With the aim of facilitating the unification of all stake holders in the health sector, and to promote a platform for effective public private dialogue so as to drive change in Africa’s healthcare systems, Dr. Thakker established the Africa Health Business Ltd. (AHBL) in 2015. AHBL is a healthcare company that stimulates the business of healthcare in Africa. AHBL facilitated a business symposium, the Africa Healthcare Business Symposium (AHBS) in Nairobi during October 2016. It was at this meeting and under the initiative of Dr. Thakker, that the Africa Healthcare Federation (AHF) was launched in a historic ceremony, unifying the 5 regions of Africa (Central, North, South, West and East) comprising of 45 countries, under a singular health platform. This Federation is the Voice of the Private Health Sector in Africa working closely with all stake holders including Governments and Developmental partners to improve overall health on the Continent through transformative policies, thus raising Africa to global standards. It works under the theme “One Continent: One Team”. The Directors on the Board are drawn from all the 5 regions of Africa, who will act towards facilitating pro-growth policies, fostering public private partnerships, encouraging innovations and disruptive technologies, increasing investments in health, promoting appropriate regulatory frameworks in the region and advocacy. Through this regional harmonization, the effort to deliver quality healthcare to the over 1.1 billion African residents is now gradually becoming a tangible reality.

As an award winning medical doctor, entrepreneur and health sector champion, Dr. Thakker is also affiliated with several private companies in the health industry. He is the Co-chair of the Private Sector Advisory Panel through UNFPA, and Vice-Chairman of the Public Private Partnership, Health Kenya (PPP HK). He was recently appointed on the Board of EEIG in Germany (European Centre of Expertise of the Healthcare Industry), AMREF Flying Doctors (Kenya), and Seven Seas Technology. As a health expert, he has and continues to provide high level advisory and consultancies to developmental partners such as World Bank/IFC, PharmAccess, GIZ, German Healthcare Partnership, Global Fund among others. In the private sector he is well recognized for his strategic consulting roles with Africa Medical Investments (Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Tanzania), Momentum Africa (South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia), Aetna Incorporated (USA and Dubai), Acacia Medical Centre, Guru Nanak Hospital and Humming Health (Kenya)

Being an impactful figure in the healthcare industry, Dr. Thakker has been awarded several accolades. He was voted the “Best Male Entrepreneur of the year” by Rotary International in 1999. In 2004, he was awarded the “Chairman’s Award”, and in 2005, he won the Best Chairman’s Award of the Round Table Association in East Africa, an international organization of young men below the age of 40 from different professions, races and ethnic groups.

With over 20 years of experience in operations, change management and business networking coupled with successes in challenging economies and cultural contexts, Dr. Thakker has successfully spearheaded the establishment of medical and primary health organizations in various developing countries including Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Nigeria, Tanzania and Kenya. He is a much sought-after speaker and mentor on social entrepreneurship, leadership and healthcare management having given talks all over the world. An accomplished champion in healthcare management, he is well recognized for his integrative approach in providing innovative and bold business cross cutting solutions in the health services and financing sector within Eastern and Southern Africa.

Dr. Thakker has a Bachelor’s in medicine and surgery from the University of Nairobi, Kenya and an Executive MBA from National Insurance Academy (NIA) in India. He has also completed a Health Leadership training from George Washington University, USA.

Dr Stan Moloabi (SA)

Principal Officer: Medshield Medical Scheme

Stanley is a qualified Medical Practitioner.

He obtained his primary medical degree – MBChB at the Medical University of Southern Africa (MEDUNSA). His other qualifications are a Diploma in Business Management with Damelin Management School, a Certificate in HIV Management, an Advanced Certificate in Private Health Sector Funding from Continuing Education at Pretoria University and he also studied towards a Masters in Family Medicine passing his coursework final exams with Wits. He is also a member of the Institute of Directors of South Africa(IODSA).

He started his Medical career as a General Practitioner successfully running a Clinical private practice for 13 years. He joined the Corporate Sector in August 2005 and currently he is the Principal Officer of Medshield Medical Scheme. Medshield Medical Scheme is the ninth biggest Medical of Medical Schemes registered in South Africa.

Dr Thato Moumakwa (Botswana)

Principal Officer: Pula Medical Aid Fund

Thato Moumakwa is a graduate of the School of Medicine, University of Manchester (UK) in 1998. Having attained full registration as a medical practitioner in the UK, Thato returned to serve as a doctor in Botswana for fourteen (14) years. In that time, Dr Moumakwa developed a special interest HIV Medicine, an emerging pandemic at the time, and was instrumental in the award winning Debswana HIV/AIDS Program rollout, as well as the Government of Botswana National HIV/AIDS program rollout. He received HIV/AIDS training from the University of Witwatesrand. His clinical career culminated in him serving as the Chief Medical Officer in Debswana for about five (5) years.

Thato received Business and Leadership training from the Graduate School of Business, UCT, and the London Business School. He has served in leadership roles in Strategy and Business Improvement. Over the years he has served in numerous Boards, including: Bokamoso Private Hospital, Botswana Red Cross Society, Botswana Health Professions Council, Botswana Government Audit Committee, and the Board of Health Funders of Southern Africa (BHF). His current role is as a Principal Officer of a prominent medical aid scheme/Fund in Botswana.

Dr Max Price (SA)

Vice-Chancellor: University of Cape Town

Dr Max Price took up the post of Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town in July 2008. From 1996 to 2006, he was dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand.

After obtaining his medical degree from University of the Witwatersrand, Dr Price was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship. He studied philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford. Following clinical work in academic and rural hospitals in SA, he took a Masters degree at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine continuing there as a Research Fellow in Health Economics. He joined the Centre for Health Policy at Wits University in 1988 as a senior researcher, and become its director in 1992.

Dr Price’s research has covered the political economy of health in SA, health economics, rural health services, health systems research and health science education. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa in recognition of his leadership role in public health medicine and medical education.

Dr Price is currently chair of the African Research Universities Alliance, was previously chair and now vice-chair of the Worldwide Universities Network.

Dr. Tihomir Strizrep (Croatia)

Former managing director: National Health Insurance Fund Croatia

Dr. Tihomir Strizrep, medical doctor (School of Medicine, University of Zagreb), has worked for 9 years in the health care administration of the Republic of Croatia holding a variety of positions, including the position of Director of the National Health Insurance Fund of the Republic of Croatia (2009-2012).

Being a key specialist and decision-maker during the healthcare reform and harmonization of the health care system of the Republic of Croatia according to EU standards, Dr. Strizrep was responsible for implementation of reforms in all major structures of the Health Care System, including health care financing reform and implementation of DRG system; health services pricing policy; the national strategy for the development of human resources in Health Care, organization and restruructuring of Primary Health Care and hospitals; development and implementation of a comprehensive IT system including full implementation of e-Prescription; implementation of transparency and anti corruptive decision making procedures; external reference pricing of medicines (international price comparisons); internal reference pricing of medicines (ATC levels 3 and on); tender based procurement of medicines and vaccines; claw back, rebate and cross product agreements for expensive drugs; mandatory ethical promotion agreements for pharma companies; and others.

Dr. Strizrep has co-written numerous papers in the field of Health Care Reform, published in national and international journals, including EuroHealth.

Currently Dr. Tihomir Strizrep is Adjunct Professor at the Effectus Business School and director of consulting company Audenta savjetovanje. He acts as consultant for the World Bank, World Health Organisation, USAID, and other in numerous European, Central Asia, and African countries on the topic of Health Care reforms (Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, South Africa, Ukraine).

Mr Abdullah Verachia (SA)

Director for the Centre for Leadership and Dialogue - University of Pretoria's Gordon Institute of Business Science

Abdullah Verachia is an admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa and holds qualifications from some of South Africa’s leading academic institutions.

Abdullah has served as Executive: International at Rand Merchant Bank (a division of FirstRand Bank Ltd) and also served on the management board of FirstRand India. Rand Merchant Bank has won numerous awards as a leading Emerging Markets Investment Bank and was recently recognised as the 2014 Investment Bank of the Year in Africa by The Banker – Investment Banking Awards.

Abdullah is the Chief Executive Office of MVA Strategy Consulting – a leading strategy consulting firm. He also currently serves as the Executive Chairperson of The Collective Genius as well as a Director of Education Africa. The Collective Genius has been recognised as a leading youth strategy consulting firm and has designed a number of flagship youth strategies and projects for leading corporates and government departments. Having worked with over 1 million young people in the last 10 years The Collective Genius has a unique vantage point with which to engage and understand the youth market.

Having presented in over 60 cities globally Abdullah Verachia has been recognised as a leading dealmaker, strategist and thought leader on company competitiveness and strategy and on Frontier and Emerging Markets. He has presented around the world to leading listed firms, international organisations and governments including in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzen, Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Accra, Dar Es Salaam, Nairobi, Frankfurt, Munich, Copenhagen, Madrid, Paris, London and New York. He has been asked to present at some of the world’s leading institutions including the School of Public and International Affairs at Colombia University in New York, the Said Business School at Oxford University, the OECD in Paris and Casa Asia in Madrid amongst others.

He has provided business strategy solutions on behalf of listed and multinational clients in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America. Abdullah has also initiated and advised on some of the largest Asian investments into Africa. He also advised numerous South African companies on their internationalisation strategies with various Emerging Market economies and has an incredible understanding of the internationalisation of listed firms.

Abdullah has headed up research, strategy and consulting assignments in an array of sectors including banking, mining, finance, asset management, construction, insurance, legal, audit, FMCG, retail and automotive. He has also headed up consulting assignments on behalf of a number of South African Industrial Development Zones and Investment Promotion Agencies. He has also done work on behalf of leading donor organisations and specifically on the intra-emerging market flows between Asia and Africa.

Dr Clarence Mini (SA)

Acting Managing Director: Board of Healthcare Funders of Southern Africa (BHF)

Clarence is currently the Acting Managing Director of the Board of Healthcare Funders of Southern African. He also serves Chairperson of the Clinical Governance and Ex-Gratia Committee and Board member of the Government Employees Medical Scheme. Prior to his current commitments, he also previously successfully fulfilled the following roles:

  • Principal Medical Officer for Port Elizabeth Municipality.
  • National Director for Family Health International
  • National Coordinator and Deputy National Director of Management Sciences for Health
  • Served as co-chairperson of National AIDS Convention of South Africa (NACOSA) - NACOSA wrote the first National HIV/AIDS Plan for South Africa in 1994.
  • Served on the Committee of Inquiry into National Health Insurance (NHI).
  • Served on the Board of Directors for the Hospice Palliative Care Association
  • Executive Director of the MESAB Palliative Care Initiative.
  • Served on the core team that wrote the latest HIV/AIDS National Strategic Plan
  • The past President of the Gauteng Medical Association.
  • Chairperson of the Gauteng Health Facility Accreditation Committee.
  • Board member of the Institute for Human Evolution at Wits University.
  • Trustee of St Andrews school for Girls
  • Served as a member of the Johannesburg Mayoral AIDS Council.
  • Chairman of the Board of Directors for Africa Health Placements
  • Chairperson of the Board of Healthcare Funders of Southern Africa
  • Corporate Affairs Executive for Thebe ya Bophelo Healthcare Administrators.

Dr Arthur Vusimuzi Memela (SA)

Principal Officer: Hosmed Medical Scheme

Dr Vusi Memela has extensive years of experience working within the healthcare industry as well as the public sector. He is well versed with the Medical Schemes Act, regulations and codes.

His experience extends from Registrar of the HPCSA, General Manager, Clinical Executive and more recently Principal Officer of Hosmed Medical Scheme where he has managed the improvement and implementation of governing policies and procedures in line with best practice.

His key strengths and skills include strategy initiation, development and implementation, effective management of human resources, management of outsourced strategic functions with partner service providers, including industry bodies, regulatory authorities and Government departments. Other key areas of responsibility include effective financial management, clinical risk management, marketing and communications and public relations. His academic qualifications include; MBCHB (MEDUNSA), LLB degree (WITS), LLM (UNISA), Diploma Management Studies (DMS), and MBA (coursework completed).

Nathaniel Otoo (Ghana)

Former CEO of National Health Insurance Authority

Nathaniel Otoo worked for over 10 years with Ghana's National Health Insurance Authority. He eventually rose to become the CEO of the Authority, a position he held until he resigned in February 2017. His previous work experience spans the social security, manufacturing and trade promotion sectors.

Nathaniel is a founding member of the Joint Learning Network for UHC, and became the network’s first convener in 2013, a position he held for 2 years. Nathaniel is currently an independent consultant and runs his own firm Wazuri Consulting. He holds a bachelors’ degree in law from the University of Ghana and a masters’ degree in International Relations from the International University of Japan.