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Sterling Bank connect PharmAccess, others on digi-health summit

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Chioma Obinna

Sterling Bank Plc appears to be worried about the failing state of the country’s healthcare sector and in a bid to provide a life line, has linked up with two other organisations, Premier Medical Systems, PMS, and PharmAccess Foundation to hold a digital health summit aimed at repositioning the healthcare system.

Managing Director, Sterling Bank, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman said the bank acknowledged efforts made so far towards improving the sector even though such efforts are yet to take the industry to safety.

Suleiman said the Bank however decided to influence collaborations in the sector in other to find way forward to a sustainable digital solution.

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He said:  “Our operations are based on three pillars. We have an agile mind, we have a digital platform and we also have specialist skills. We are bringing the specialist skills we have to the health care sector using the digital platform. So we will find the parties that can make it digital,” he said.

He further argued that solution to the challenges in the health sector cannot be provided by doctors, nurses, pharmacists, hospital administrators or even partners that are providing financial support, he said the bank intends to use available technology to leapfrog the sector.

He further argued that solution to the problem cannot be tackled without adequate and reliable information, adding that the current state of affairs in the sector was pitiable because anyone looking to get information about the sector will get contradictory statements from different sources.

Suleiman stated that the bank wants to work with digital partners to get reliable data that stakeholders in the health care sector would be able to use in their work.

Speaking, Premier Medical Systems, Dr. Niyi Osamiluyi explained that the Digital Health Summit with the theme: “Leveraging mobile technology for Health: Progress and Challenges” would bring together stakeholders in the Nigerian digital health space.

Osamiluyi said the summit would have stakeholders such as the Federal Ministries of Health and  Communication, among  others.

On her part, Country Director of PharmAccess Foundation, Mrs. Njide Ndili, said the summit was designed to solve the problems of the sector as well as provide finance that would take it to the next level.

Ndili hinted that PharmAccess Foundation, a Dutch NGO was committed to providing quality health care and technical assistance to Nigerians at the grassroots.

Stating that the Foundation was already working in Kwara and Lagos state, she disclosed that plans are on top gear to deploy technology known as ‘Care pay’ to enable Nigerians at the bottom to use their mobile phones to access health under the insurance health care scheme.   She said the technology was already making waves in countries like Kenya.

The summit aims to encourage collaboration and create connections between investors, development partners, government agencies, other stakeholders and start-ups.

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