Sector operators advocate special bank for health sector
Stakeholders in the health sector have advocated for the establishment of a health development bank of Nigeria to assist in solving financial challenges in the healthcare system.
Director, of the Center for Social Justice, Eze Onyekwere, stated that government intervention in this regard has become necessary to help alleviate financial difficulties that the capital projects usually associated with the health sector encounter.
The stakeholders comprising seven State Commissioners of Health, the States Executive Secretaries of Primary Healthcare Development Agencies (PHDA) and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) made the call in Abuja.
The states involved in the meeting include FCT, Sokoto, Rivers, Nasarawa, Imo, Bauchi and Adamawa. Also in attendance were the states’ health insurance agencies.
Onyekwere further noted that most of the equipment and other technological devices used in the health sector are capital intensive, hence, the need for a specialized bank.
He said: “If you have to buy all the capital-intensive items and pay commercial bank interest rates, you will have to deny ordinary Nigeria access to primary healthcare.
“We are asking for a specialized health bank that will fund healthcare like the intervention done for the Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture and others. So, this specialized bank for the health sector will be financing health.”
Adding: “This bank will make health services affordable to the ordinary Nigerians, and not collapse the health sector because the money will be revolving, the health bank will give you the loan and you pay back with the little interest on top.
“Whatever money the government brings into the health sector along with the money from international development institutions will be on the ground for a long period of time.
“The little interest will be made available for the next person who might wish to get such a loan. It will make more healthcare available”, Onyekwere noted.