6 December 2012

Nigeria: Healthcare - FG Pledges Support for PPP Projects

Ibadan — The Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, has assured Nigerians that the Federal Government would continue to support public private partnership (PPP) initiative to make healthcare provision more accessible and affordable to Nigerians.

Chukwu, who spoke at the inauguration of an ultra-modern Remi Babalola Red Cross Clinic in Ibadan, said there would be a reduction in the number of medical trips abroad if more public-spirited Nigerians followed in Babalola's example by providing standard clinics.

The minister commended the donor of the clinic, a former Minister of State for Finance, Remi Babalola, for propagating what the Federal Ministry of Health preaches.

In his remarks, Babalola charged public-spirited individuals not to leave the provision of quality health and educational facilities to government alone.

The clinic was provided by his charity, Remi Babalola Initiative.

The former minister stated that, apart from job creation, education and health sectors of the nation's economy were too critical to be left alone for government, saying, "we leave them to government alone at our own peril."

He described the state-of-the-art clinic as the success story of PPP and commended corporate and private individuals who contributed to the accomplishment.

He explained that the clinic, which came into existence following his appointment as a volunteer by Red Cross International, was put in place for those who could not afford to pay out-of-pocket for medical services and to provide emergency medical treatment with emphasis on accident victims.

The building was built by FirstBank of Nig Plc while the first clas equipment for the clinic was provided by Remi Babalola Initiatives and Red Cross. It is not a business venture but a sustainable goodwill enterprise.

The former minister revealed that funds for the project were provided by some kind-hearted people in the country like Alhaji Aliko Dangote and financial institutions like Access Bank and Leadway Assurance among others.

Babalola hinted that the completion of the clinic was delayed due to the change in contractor and operating model for the clinic, a development which had necessitated the need for the clinic to be affiliated to a government hospital as the Initiative does not run clinics.

In his own remark, the National Vice-Chairman of Red Cross, Mr.Timothy Oladele, said the clinic was the fourth to be donated by an individual in the country, describing it as the best in size and quality.

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