Private Sector Health Alliance’s Adopt-A-Healthcare-Facility Launch

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Let me begin by congratulating the Board and Management of the Private Sector Health Alliance for this remarkably game-changing initiative, the Adopt-A-Healthcare Facility Programme. Your vision clearly reflects the urgency of ensuring that every Nigerian has access to quality healthcare, at its most essential level.


It tackles the recursive triple challenges of affordability quality, and scale. With 774 local governments spread across vast geographical and cultural complexities, our responses must always converge on the pragmatic instinct of the market, the social and constitutional responsibility of government, and our ever-increasing population if we are to bear any chance of succeeding.


The devastation of the COVID -19 pandemic, its lingering effects, and the stark realities of climate change, have been recent and urgent reminders for us to reappraise how we allocate resources at the intersection of public and private life.


The elite-driven pull to concentrate public resources at the top of the pyramid and the priority of profit as the principal driving factor for private investment and operations are not sustainable. And we have seen this clearly in the last five years.


The business of life simply cannot go on in spite of the most vulnerable of our population, it must go on because of them. We can only improve the quality of our chances collectively, and even individually, for the long term, by ensuring the quality of life of the most vulnerable of us; women, children, and rural populations almost always beyond the reach of thinning public resources.


Private sector interventions in the spirit of the Adopt-A-Healthcare-Facility Programme, therefore, become pragmatic models necessary for our vital duty of preserving life.


The Nigerian private sector has been built and sustained by visionaries in every aspect; mavericks who built on the foundation of post-independence generations to reposition the banking industry for the modern world from the turn of the 90s, industrialists who utilised local knowledge, networks, and expertise built conglomerates spanning the entire country and beyond, creating millions of jobs in the process; and tech entrepreneurs who since 2015 and between two recessions built billion dollar businesses.


It is clear what we can achieve if we effectively turn the entrepreneurial determination and efficiency of Nigerian private enterprise toward the vital need of building sustainable access to quality primary healthcare.


The impact of a revitalized primary healthcare sector is multidimensional, current maternal and infant mortality rates are antithetical to our growth ambitions. Not only will more Nigerians be able to live to their full potential if needless deaths are prevented, but fully functional Primary Healthcare Centres, PHCs, will also create multiple jobs for communities across the country; doctors and nurses, hospital administrative staff and facility managers, pharmacists and caregivers.


In 2018, the Federal Government re-energized the implementation of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) with the aim of improving access to healthcare by making provision for routine daily operational costs for PHCs, amongst others. As of this year, it has committed over N80billion to equipping health institutions across the country, urgent efforts that still fall shy of the estimated N2.7 trillion needed to achieve the desired primary healthcare standards over a 10-year period. The truth is the investments we need to salvage Nigeria’s primary healthcare system cannot be met by the government alone, regardless of its best intentions.


The Adopt-A-Healthcare Facility programme gives the private sector a veritable platform to step up to the plate at a moment that desperately calls for it. The test cases in Bauchi and Delta States foreshadow what we can achieve by consolidating on its foundation. If there ever was a time to make a concrete difference in the lives of Nigerians and to the general socio-economic health of the country, it is now.


The regulatory frameworks and public sector support and collaboration needed for this level of market-driven reform to work are at a corresponding level to your most laudable objective. There is also no greater sense of corporate and collective responsibility today than giving Nigerians everywhere a chance at a good life and a promising future.  The possibilities of modern medicine put us in better stead than our predecessors and there is so much we can do to improve our quality of life.


We are therefore very delighted to witness the first phases of this remarkable initiative and challenge the organized private sector to rise to the occasion. One primary healthcare centre of decent, global standard, in every local government, will achieve a seismic chain of equitable development in the immediate and long term, and it is achievable.


We can look back at this moment in the future, even when we are no longer in direct positions of influence to the vast difference we have been able to make in the lives of millions through our contributions and support for this pivotal initiative.


Thank you for your kind attention and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.