Mr. Tony Elumelu
As part of the strategy to fast-track building of at least one world- class hospital and one diagnostic centre in each of the geo-political zones for the development of private sector health infrastructure, the Federal Government Tuesday inaugurated a 20-man committee headed by Mr. Tony Elumelu, the Chairman of Heirs Holdings Limited.
At the inauguration of the committee in Abuja, the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, stated that inefficiency in resource management has made it difficult for hospitals in Nigeria to meet up with best global practices.
The minister said: “The associated failure to provide high-end medical services in many instances coupled with globalization has resulted in loss of patients to medical tourism with its attendant capital flight from the economy further worsening economic situation in the country.”
“In the circumstances, it’s quite obvious that government alone cannot provide all the health facilities needed to provide adequate healthcare services to the teeming population, now at 167 million and expanding.”
“The establishment of the private world class hospital and diagnostic centres will not only satisfy the yearning of Nigerians for such services but will indeed reverse the direction of the medical tourism to Nigeria’s advantage which again is in line with the economic focus of the transformation agenda of employment and wealth creation,” Chukwu observed
Speaking at the occasion, Elumelu stated that the assignment would give him and other committee members the opportunity to contribute their quota to the health sector.
“We shall do our best to come up with implementable plan to unlock the private sector potential in the health sector,” Elumelu stressed.
He likewise demanded the minister to grant the committee access to reports of the committees previously set up in the sector in order to facilitate the work of the new committee.
The Permanent Secretary, Mrs Fatima Bamidele, said the committee would boost the government’s transformation agenda in the health sector.
The term of reference of the committee is expected to work on include to carry out a critical analysis of the apparent low private sector investment in specialist hospitals.
It also include to draw up strategies and a road map for the unlocking of private health entrepreneurship, identify and engage potential investors with a view to guiding them to develop business models and plans for establishment of diagnostic centres.
The event was also witnessed by National Assembly members led by Senator Garba Gamawa and Chairman House Committee on Health, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu.
Other members of the committee include Dr. Ebun Sonaiya, Dr. Ibrahim Wada, Dr. Yemi Onabowale, Ifeanyi Okoye, Charles Cudjoe and Wale Shonibare, the African Finance Corporation, Bank of Industry (BOI) among others.