Lagos partners PharmAccess on finance scheme for SMEs
*Outsource 43 PHCs to private providers for revitalisation
The Lagos State Ministries of Health, Wealth Creation and Employment in partnership with PharmAccess Group have introduced a financial framework for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in the health sector to expand their businesses, while creating employment in the state.
The financial framework, which was unveiled on Friday for the health SMEs will attract a 50 percent funding from the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), Bank of Industry (BOI) and Medical Credit Fund (MCF), with a total of N1, 075, 000, 000 disbursed for the scheme.Speaking at the workshop to unveil the scheme, Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Lagos state, Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf said the private sector provides over 65 percent of healthcare services in Lagos, with SMEs in the healthcare space constituting majority of the providers.
Uzamat noted that the propagation and growth of the health SMEs have been greatly stunted, as they are mostly underfunded and unable to attract investment capital.The Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris in his keynote address said there is need for a change to address the issue issues in the health sector.He added that part of the reforms adopted by the government is the collaboration with the private healthcare providers to ensure sustainability, reduced mortality and morbidity rates, access to quality and cheaper health solutions to all residents of Lagos state in order to have better outcomes.
He said to achieve this as part of the framework, 43 defunct Primary Healthcare Centres, located in the East, West and Central of Lagos state have been outsourced to private providers under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement. He explained that the framework comes in two components, which are Access to Finance and Medical Equipment Leasing Scheme (MELS) aimed at “developing and providing quality healthcare service in primary health centres that are dilapidated through acquiring world class cutting-edge medical equipment.”
Also speaking, the Country Director Nigeria, PharmAccess Foundation, Njide Ndili stressed that there are gaps in service delivery in the PHCs, noting that rather than building new facilities by the private providers, the old ones would be revitalised by the PPP with the financial scheme.She further said the successful implementation of the financial framework would change the landscape of healthcare delivery in Lagos state and enable the government to improve health outcomes, create employment and generate wealth.
Giving his goodwill message, the Health Lead, Health in Africa Initiative, World Bank Group, Prof. Khama Rogo advised the government to engage theprivate healthcare providers in its policy dialogue, adding that there should be a fair playing ground in matters concerning the health sector, which he said should be placed first in issues of investment in the country.
He decried the health indices of maternal and infant Care in Lagos, which he said ranks top 10 Africa population wise, top six in economy and top five in healthcare, human resources and skilled labour as compared to the African region, adding that the rating shows how fast the state government needs to go towards achieving a better health system for its citizens.