ABOUT eight private hospitals in Ondo state on Thursday benefitted from the N12 million investment credit from a World Bank assisted project sponsored by Nigeria State Health Investment Project (NSHIP).
Speaking during the presentation of the cheques of N1.5 million to each of the hospitals, the state coordinator of NSHIP, Dr Adijat Ige, said the money was given to the hospitals to help them purchase more facilities and equipment for quality health delivery in the state.
Ige said apart from this the Eugene became imperative in order to improve healthcare delivery in the state.
Ige said the project deemed it right to engage private sector under the aegis of Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN) as critical stakeholders.
She said “The funds must be used on basics for improvement and eight private hospitals will benefit. Those that are yet to benefit will be engaged when they are cleared by the state ministry of health.”
She noted that the investment credit, which would soon be extended to other 17 councils of the state, is released to the private hospitals to purchase basic health facilities and equipment.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Wahab Adegbenro, who disbursed the cheque, described the steps as another step to make health service delivery affordable and available to the state residents.
Adegbenro added that the state government had stepped up plans to implementing health insurance scheme that would make quality health service available to entire citizenry of the state, saying the paperwork had got to the final state and it would soon be forwarded to the state House of Assembly for approval.
He said “This scheme, if put in use will take care of vulnerable group to access health service anywhere in the state.”
The commissioner urged the beneficiaries to judiciously utilize the fund, imploring private health facilities in the state to support the state government on greater achievements in the health sector.
“The funds given to you is not for merrymaking but for improvements of health service delivery. This is deemed necessary because of the high cost of rendering health service and we are stepping onto Akure and other local government areas. We just need your continued support and cooperation,” he said.
The Communication Officer of the World Bank project, Mr Kehinde Adeleye, disclosed that it was an urban performance-based Nigeria financing to sustain the health landmark achieved in the state.
Adeleye said “It is to partner with the private hospitals as part of efforts to revamp the sector and encourage active stakeholders in providing affordable healthcare services for the people.
“The urban based financing with the support of the world bank is a dream come true on the proposed partnership with the private hospitals.”
Adeleye noted that the pilot programme kicked off in Ondo West LGA during the immediate past administration in February and N15m was disbursed to nine private hospitals due to the existing health and medical structures in the council.
He added that Ondo State is one of the three states in the country currently under the urban performance based financing scheme.
The state AGPMPN President, Dr Jimi Oke, lauded the donor and the ministry for the gesture meant to cater for the state residents, who according to him, patronised more private health facilities than the public ones.
Oke called on the state government to co-opt private medical practitioners in policy implementation and evaluation, assuring that the beneficiaries would maximally utilize the fund for the purpose it was meant for.
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