The Group Managing Director of Oceanic Bank International Plc, Dr. Cecilia Ibru has called for the adoption of a public-private partnership model in fighting diseases and improving healthcare delivery across the country.
She said leaving the task of delivering good healthcare to the government alone will not bring about the needed change and effectiveness in the system, calling on all stakeholders including individuals and corporate organisations to join hands with the government so as to improve the situation.
Speaking at the 2009 Annual Conference of the Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas (ANPA) in Abuja, Dr. Ibru explained that since a lot of resources were needed to combat diseases, build and equip health centres across the country, it would not be wise to leave the huge task to the government alone.
She explained that Oceanic Bank is always willing to support healthcare initiatives, pointing out that only a healthy nation can really develop and achieve its potentials.
She called on Nigerian doctors that are based abroad to join hands in developing the healthcare delivery system in the country.
â€œGiven the situation where a large percentage of doctors trained in Nigeria are working outside our shores, I would like to believe that the conference would stir up more patriotic zeal among ANPA members to answer the call of helping the nation achieve a formidable primary health care delivery system. Beyond charity, a more robust and sustainable social action is required to tackle our healthcare needs across our primary, secondary, and tertiary health institutions,â€ she said.
She added that â€œWhile the nation continues to lose our prized medical doctors to the infrastructure deficit, economic challenges, and the lure of better remuneration, the truth remains that the huge population and potential for growth provides a compelling investment incentive for those that will heed the clarion call.â€
She identified some of the problems militating adequate healthcare delivery in Nigeria as: availability of health centers, affordability of drugs, surgery and laboratory tests, Maintenance of buildings and equipment and dearth of medical personnel.
Others include poor drug procurement practices, low literacy level, dependence on government provided healthcare facilities and poor funding of healthcare in the face of rising costs amongst others.
She reiterated the bankâ€™s willingness to partner with ANPA and other relevant stakeholders to promote effective healthcare delivery in the country.
â€œAt Oceanic Bank, we are already contributing our quota to effective healthcare delivery through our HMO, Oceanic Health Management Limited. Oceanic Healthâ€™s services to its clients include; a wider choice of healthcare providers nationwide, efficient referral system all through primary, secondary and tertiary levels of health care, portability of care as out-of-station or emergency care, guaranteed access to quality healthcare as medical treatment is subjected to rigorous quality assurance techniques, access to medical counselling on 24-hour call lines and also emergency evacuation both locally and internationally.
when required,â€ she said.