Health stakeholders at the right to health in Nigeria” program in Abuja have called for the establishment of the Health Development Bank of Nigeria.
Addressing the meeting, Lead Director, Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) Mr. Eze Onyekwere said the specialise development bank would focus on health financing, like the intervention done for the Bank of Industry.
”Because most of the capital equipment, most of the things of technology we need in health are very capital intensive, if you have to buy them and pay commercial bank interest rate, you will have to deny ordinary Nigeria from getting access to health facilities.”
” We are asking for a specialise health bank that will be funding healthcare like the intervention done for Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture and others, so they will be financing health, health equipment, and other healthcare financings at single digit rate so that it can meet many conditions.”
According to him,” It will make health services affordable to ordinary Nigeria, not collapsing the banks in terms of money revolving, the health bank will give you the loan and you pay back with the little interest on top, and make it available for the next person.”
Mr. Eze Onyekwere noted that when such a bank is established it will make healthcare more affordable and available.
” Whatever money government brings in, along with the money from international donors, international development institutions will be on the ground for a long period of time.
”It is a special bank beyond budgetary allocation, beyond health insurance fund that will tackle or focus on the strategic needs of the health sector,” he added.
On her part, the State Coordinator, Journalists for Public Health and Development Initiative (J4PD), Elizabeth Kah who observed that the primary healthcare in Bauchi was okay, said the general issue was the problem of release of fund by state and federal government.
”But, the Bill and Melinda gates foundation, Dangote, USAID, UNICEF, and WHO have been tremendously helping to support the state.”
”They have one basket fund, the government also put its own counterpart fund and expenditure are from there, and that is why the healthcare system is working in the state because there is no shortage of funds,” she added.