The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to set up a dedicated Health Bank to help improve access to funding and promote the development of the health sector.
A statement in Abuja quoted the NMA President, Dr Francis Faduyile as making the call in during the association’s visit to the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele.
Mr Faduyile said that the support was urgently needed to improve human capital outcomes and conserving hard earned foreign exchange in Nigeria.
According to him, the Health Bank like the Bank of Agriculture would create an enabling environment to trigger private sector investment and curb the growing trend of medical tourism.
“We have also discussed this issue of the Health Bank with President Muhammadu Buhari during our courtesy visit to the State House on July 16, 2019 and through many other communiqués.
“Our members listed lack of access to credit, poor infrastructure, and unregulated competition as the top three constraints to the development of the private health sector,” he said.
He recall that the CBN governor in his inaugural speech said that “the CBN intends to play a facilitating role by unlocking the potentials that exist for the private sector to invest at various points along the healthcare.”
He also called on the CBN to work with both the Developmental Bank of Nigeria and the Bank of Industry to support the demand and supply sides of healthcare financing.
The NMA president also urged the CBN to support the setting up of at least three centers of excellence in different specialties in Nigeria.
“We are glad to note that the AFRIEXIM Bank will be building a world class center in Abuja with construction set to commence in the next few weeks,” he said.