Lagos State Government in collaboration with PhamAccess Group has launched a programme to assist small and medium scale enterprise in the health care sector. The collaboration is aimed at improving primary health care in the state.
The programme was recently launched by the Ministries of Health and wealth creation and employment.
“The financial framework for health SMEs will be given 50 per cent funding as support from the Lagos State Employment Fund (LSETF), Bank of lndustry (BOI) and Medical Credit Fund (MCF). A total sum of N1, 075,000,000 is being garnered as support for the scheme”, the partners stated.
According to the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Wealth Creation and Employment, Mrs. Uzomat Akinbile Yusuf, the private sector provides over 65 percent of health care in Lagos with Health SMEs in the health care space constituting majority of providers.
She said the propagation and growth of the health SMEs has been greatly stunted as they are mostly underfunded and unable to attract Investment capital. Also speaking at the event, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, disclosed that as part of the new strategies 43 defunct primary health care centres in the state have been selected to be outsourced to private providers under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.
According to Idris, the idea is to partner with private health care providers to ensure sustainability, reduce mortality and morbidity rates, ensure access to financial and health SMEs scheme and provide quality and affordable health care services to all citizens in Lagos.
He also explained that the framework comes in two platforms which are: access to finance and medical equipment leasing scheme (MELS).
“The purpose of this is to develop health care service in the State and provide service delivery in primary health centres that are dilapidated”, he said.
Idris added: “The primary health care that are identified in the East, West and Central of Lagos State will serve as a means of access to finance Health SMEs Scheme and also used part and also used part of facilitates to the provide quality Health Services to the Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme”.
Country Director of Nigeria, PhamAccess Foundation, Mrs. Njide Ndili, spoke concerning the gap in service delivery the primary health care. According to her, instead of building new facilitates the old ones will be renewed with the help of the PPP.
Ndili further explains that avenue for the funding of the Health Scheme will be provided with the help of (BOI). “We leverage our safe care system to ensure renovation of PHCs, using the right care and services for the citizen”.
Representative of World Bank Group, Prof. Khama Rogo, raised a concern about the non-challant attitude of service in Nigeria. He urged the government to encourage and support private health care providers, stressed the need for a fair playing ground in matters concerning the health sector.