Health Ministry to establish Bank of Health
At news conference in Lagos to mark his one year in office, The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, disclosed that The Federal Ministry of Health on Saturday said it would work with the private sector to establish “Bank of Health’’ to improve healthcare delivery in the country, and that the ministry would also work with the private sector to publish a directory of health facilities in the country
He also said that the ministry had during the period evolved a development plan even in the face of economic challenges and distractions resulting from Lassa fever and Polio outbreaks. According to him, Lassa fever has been put under check and rehabilitation work has commenced in seven laboratories across the country to aid quick and better diagnosis of disease outbreak, and that healthcare delivery required collective efforts and should not be left for government alone, adding that”We have decided to work with the private sector in the coming year because they have the discipline, resources and efficiency to drive the sector. ”We want to establish a Bank of Health similar to Bank of Industry and Bank of Agricultural, so that those who want to set up health facilities can have access to resources. ”We believe that the one million dollars that is estimated to leave Nigeria due to medical tourism will be trapped here.
He said “Those who go to India, Europe, even Ghana and Benin Republic, will have no reason to leave the country for medical care,” and that a technical working group had been set up in collaboration with the private sector to publish health facilities directory and their services. ”Publishing a directory of health facilities across the country and the services they render is important, are it renal or heart transplant or even cancer surgeries. “This will help Nigerians to make informed choices and know where to go,”
The minister said that the ministry would also embark on the revitalization of seven teaching hospitals in 2017, adding, however, that “we cannot rehabilitate all the teaching hospitals in 2017; we will do it in phases. “We are hoping to do seven with two cancer machines next year and then we scale up further.” On liver cancer, which is the commonest in Nigeria, and that the ministry would be working with International Agency for Research and Cancer to reduce the burden.