18 December 2012

Uganda: Health Providers Seek Special Interest Rate

Private health providers have asked commercial banks to give them a special interest rate since they provide an unpredictable service to the population.

This was during a workshop by the Health Initiative for the Private Sector Project (HIPS)for private health providers on how to access a $3m fund from USAID.

Dr. Dithan Kiragga, the chief of Party USAID contractor said the fund which is going to run for a period of seven years is available to eligible private health providers across the country.

"Many private health providers find it hard to access loans from commercial banks due to the unpredictable nature of their services, but with the help of this fund they can access loans under flexible conditions." Kiragga said.

He added that the loan is specifically for such projects as construction of hospital facilities, health workers' homes, purchasing medical equipment, facilitation for further studies.

The money will go towards training private clinic owners on financial management since research findings show that most of them lack financial insight.

HIPS has also entered into a partnership with Phillips, the Dutch manufacturing company to provide leasing services for clinics to buy equipment.

HIPS has a membership of over 100 private companies and 100 clinics across the country but this particular project is open to the general public.

Over 30% of the fund will target private health providers in the rural areas so as to reduce on the unfair geographical distribution of health centres because currently most of them are located in urban centres.

The fund is currently being financed through Centenary Bank but will be rolled out to other banks in March next year.

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