The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) has indicated the possibility of replicating more Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangements in the moribund health care system following huge success recorded with the concession of Garki specialist Hospital, Abuja which has brought in more efficiency there.
Chidi Izuwah, Acting Director General and Chief Executive Officer, ICRC who gave the indication in Abuja on Thursday announced of plans to commence a world class case study of the Garki hospital in order to unravel its success factors and a possibility of replicating it across the country.
In 2006, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the health ministry’s PPP policy initiative and chose Garki General Hospital Abuja which at the time, had been shut down for renovation for six years to serve as the Nigeria’s pilot PPP project , for the the first time in the country.
The initiative which aimed to support and invigorate expanded collaborations between healthcare providers and consumers was a response to various challenges bedeviling public hospitals in the country, including underfunding, poor maintenance culture, poor attitude of staff and frequent industrial actions.
In 2007, NISA Premier Hospital Abuja won the bid as a concessionaire for ten years.
BusinessDay was told that the PPP model has engendered confidence in the hospital which was then near collapse and today records up to 155,172 client encounter annually as against just 10,301 in 2007.
Besides, the funding model which is now free from government budgetary and bureaucratic constraints has seen investments of about N4,629 billion into the hospital in modern equipment comparable with best international standards and improved expertise cutting across a wide range of medical departments.
The concessionaire is about to invest an additional N10billion over the next 30 years as authorities say they are striving to transform the hospital to meet best international hospital standards.
Izuwah who led the ICRC team on a visit to the to Garki hospital to understand the progress achieved so far, successes and implementation gaps and how the Commission can provide any needed strategic intervention signaled that the concession agreement could be extended to allow the hospital make more impact in the sector.
“We are very supportive of the immense progress by the Garki hospital and successes recorded so far and we are going to make extremely very strong recommendations to the presidency for a possible extension. The board and management has thought local and acted global,” Izuwah stated during the visit.
“We believe that PPPs are the best way that the Nigeria’s health sector challenges can be tackled,” he also noted, adding that, “anybody who does not want PPPs in healthcare wants the apartheid in the sector to continue.”
Apart from other numerous achievements, Garki hospital has been able to comply with the remittance of all its financial obligations to the Federal Capital Territory Administration, according to the authorities.
From inception to date, the hospital has made quarterly remittances of concessions fees of N20 million annually for ten years, together with signature bonus of N25 million, culminating in total remittances of N225 million. In addition, it has also kept to its profit sharing agreement, and has till date remitted over N13 million.
The Acting DG said the ICRC will support any initiative that will help Nigeria solve its huge infrastructure deficits, particularly through Public, Private Partnership arrangements.
Earlier in his presentation, Ibrahim Wada, Group Medical Adviser, Garki General Hospital said the hospital, through its outstanding performance has engendered the confidence of the Federal Capital Territory residents and its environs that quality healthcare is possible in Nigeria.
He said over the past ten years, the hospital has broken new grounds in health care delivery in the capital city, having introduced a fully equipped and functional neurosurgery department, sickle cell clinic, in-vitro fertility (IVF) clinic and also high-ended surgeries, including 25 kidney transplants and 43 open heart surgeries.
He said some of the patients came from United Kingdom and Ghana and that even though some of the surgeries were conducted by foreign professionals in 2013, they are now being handled by mostly Nigerians.
He said the hospital has also broken new grounds in training and retraining of medical personnel and students, and has become a resource centre for medical students and personnel from the UK, Ukraine, USA, and Ghana.
Wada, however told the visiting ICRC team that the hospital’s debt profile has also risen to N800 million following huge long-term investments which they would need time to recoup and make profits, as he appealed to the government to consider extending the concession agreement beyond the expiration date.
“We would be glad to receive direction from your good office in this regard, to enable us sustain and improve on the present achievements and in keeping with your vision of efficient health care delivery in FCT,” he pleaded.
Onyinye Nwachukwu, Abuja
The post FG to expand health care delivery using using Garki Hospital PPP model appeared first on BusinessDay : News you can trust.