he Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) has granted the Federal Ministry of Health the nod to concession 22 tertiary hospitals.
The selected teaching hospitals will be run on a public-private partnership (PPP), with the aim of improving access to quality healthcare services.
To this end, ICRC has issued the Ministry of Health Outline Business Case (OBC) compliance certificate for the rehabilitation and concession of the federal teaching hospitals.
ICRC Director-General (DG) Mr. Chidi Izuwah, while presenting the compliance certificate in Abuja, said the certificate outlines the next set of steps to be taken to obtain full approval.
He added that the certificate outlines the steps towards signing concession agreement, financial closure and delivering the project.
Izuwah said ICRC suggested an accelerated system because of the importance of health to the overall development of the country, adding that “our job is to bring private investment to upgrade these facilities”.
He observed that the project would transform the tertiary health institutions, improve access to healthcare, reduce medical tourism and create direct and indirect employment for Nigerians.
Izuwah said the OBC had been reviewed to ensure its viability, adding that ICRC has confirmed its bankability for optimal delivery of healthcare to Nigerians.
The ICRC DG explained further that the project would be fully financed by the private sector, the medical services operations and delivery would still reside with in-house consultants, nurses, midwives and technicians.
He added that the health personnel at the facilities would also be trained on the use of new equipment supplied, assuring that there would be no loss of job.
Izuwah stressed that the Federal Government was mindful of the dilapidation and disrepair state of the teaching hospitals, which led to the modernisation and upgrading of 14 teaching hospitals in two phases within available resources.
He added that the contracts for rehabilitation, refurbishment, upgrading and equipment modernisation and standardisation of the teaching hospitals were awarded to CPL Medical Group and The Federal Ministry of Health, having realised that the impact of the modernisation and upgrading of the 14 teaching hospitals was good on the maintenance of health issues, felt that the project should be extended to a third phase.
“In this regards, a proposal was then forwarded to the President for approval by the then minister of health for the commencement of the project.
The proposal was approved by the Presidency with a directive that the third phase of the project be implemented on a PPP basis.
Under this PPP arrangement, the private sector is responsible for investing, operating and maintaining those facilities over a period of time and recover their investment from a combination of user fee and potential revenue paid by government,” he said.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Abdulaziz Mashi, said the project is in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s concern for human capital development, which he said, cannot be achieved without adequate investment in health, education and labour.
He added that the ministry will take the necessary steps to actualise the project. Dr. Omobolanle Olowu, director of PPP and Diaspora unit in the ministry, said the ministry has just crossed one of the hurdles by obtaining the ICRA certificate, adding that the ministry will go into procurement phase.
She added that the project would cover 22 teaching hospitals and a 500-bed capacity, which is going to be on stand-alone and it would be called super specialist hospital, Abuja.
Source: The Nation