By Dipo Olowookere
In order to help private healthcare providers in Nigeria deliver access to affordable healthcare services to citizens, Access Bank and GE Healthcare have agreed to work together.
Through the partnership, the two organisations will provide sustainable healthcare equipment financing to the private healthcare providers.
It was gathered that borrowers will be able to secure loans of up to $800,000 negotiable, based on the customer requirement, with Access Bank providing access to loans for eligible healthcare providers, while GE Healthcare will support the program through provision of GE healthcare equipment and technical support.
The equipment under the partnership scope includes Imaging Solutions including Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computed Tomography (CT), Ultrasound Machines and Life Care Solutions. Borrowers which qualify for loans include private healthcare providers such as hospitals, clinics, diagnostic centres and other private practices offering a broad array of services.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Mr Eyong Ebai, General Manager for GE Healthcare West, Central & French Sub-Saharan Africa said, “We are committed to invest in Public and Private Partnerships that innovate new delivery models that will improve access to affordable and quality patient outcomes, as we progress towards Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC) in Nigeria. Our partnership with Access Bank will help lift the financial burden off the healthcare providers.”
Earlier this year, GE Healthcare rolled out a similar initiative in Kenya in partnership with Medical Credit Fund to provide Small and Medium Enterprises (SMES) with financing for healthcare equipment.
“There is a need to provide innovative financing models for healthcare providers especially in the private sector, who currently face challenges accessing financing for purchase of healthcare equipment due to the risk associated with the business.
“As a financing institution, we are committed to provide financing at both the health-service-provider level and at health-service-consumer levels to ensure that the people of Nigeria have all they need to live healthy lives,” said Mr Herbert Wigwe, CEO Access Bank.
Access Bank was earlier this year recognized for the second time as the ‘Outstanding Healthcare SME-Friendly Bank of the Year’ at the Nigerian Healthcare Excellence Award (NHEA) 2019.
The need to provide affordable healthcare in Nigeria is key to the development of the Nigerian Healthcare sector. Even as the World Health Organisation has identified UHC as a unifying concept and goal for the Government as they strengthen their health systems and discharge their obligations under the right to health.
GE Healthcare and Access bank scheme was therefore born out of the necessity to provide the needed support to the Nigerian Healthcare environs, by providing healthcare finance at affordable rates and longer tenor.
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