Fisayo Okunsanya, Medical Credit Fund Business Development Director (Nigeria) & Dr. Olamide Okulaja, PharmAccess Advocacy and Communications Director (Nigeria) speaking at the ‘Access to Finance’ launch
The financial supports will allow SMEs in the health sector to expand and improve their operations in addition to creating employment. The two components of the public private partnership will enable the renovation, equipping, operation and management of selected primary healthcare facilities in the state. The aim is to empower the private sector, improve health outcomes, create wealth and generate local employment. Growth of health SMEs in the region is hampered through lack of funding and an inability to attract investment capital. With increased access to funding these facilities also increase the chances for better healthcare access to the residents of Lagos state.
The financial framework, unveiled July 13th, will attract 50 per cent funding from the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), Bank of Industry (BOI) and MCF. A total of 2.5 million euro will be disbursed through the scheme. The private sector already provides over 65 per cent of healthcare services in Lagos, with SMEs being the majority of providers.
Speaking at the event, PharmAccess Nigeria Country Director Njide Ndili said: “Medical Credit Fund will provide partial guarantees to the loans accessed by the private healthcare providers and our SafeCare methodology will be implemented to ensure that they operate at the highest possible quality. The revitalization of these 43 primary healthcare facilities will increase the availability of quality healthcare services in the State right in time for the launch of the Lagos State Health Scheme”. She also stressed that there are gaps in service delivery of the private clinics, noting that rather than building new facilities, the old ones would be revitalized by the PPP with the financial scheme.
Prof. Khama Rogo, Health Lead of Health in Africa Initiative with World Bank Group, advised the government to engage private healthcare providers in its policy dialogue, adding that there should be a fair playing ground in matters concerning the health sector. He added that the low health ratings of maternal and infant Care in Lagos, shows how fast the state government needs to go towards achieving a better health system for its citizens.