Over the past few decades, the health sector in Nigeria has experienced continuous disruptions. With the drawbacks of traditional practices to the emergence of new technologies all around the world, more organizations are beginning to drive their support for the industry through investments.
As part of their commitment to empower businesses and support the growth of economies, FSDH Merchant Bank Limited, Nigeria’s premier Merchant bank, recently engaged key healthcare stakeholders in a morning of Insightful conversations around the urgency of healthcare financing in Nigeria, and the importance of digitization in supporting industry operations.
Speaking at the event-themed “Financing healthcare in Nigeria”, Bukola Smith, managing director, said that the bank’s array of financial solutions could boost revenue and promote financing in the healthcare sector.
The event hosted dignitaries and special guests like Akin Abayomi, commissioner for Health, Lagos State, Fola Laoye, founder Iwosan Investments Limited, Emmanuel Jeje, Medical Director Marigold Hospital, Clare Omatseye, managing director JNC International, Biodun Aluko, Medical Director Premier Specialist Hospital, and other top professionals in the health ecosystem.
The Commissioner of Health while delivering his address said that the government of Lagos will continue to drive policies to make healthcare and health insurance more accessible and favorable to citizens.
While addressing how the bank will impact health businesses and grow the economy, Stella-Marie Omogbai, group head of corporate banking and branches, said “FSDH identified the healthcare industry as an area of interest, and we put together a team of doctors and professionals who understand the business of healthcare finance.
“We set up a health desk manned by some of the most experienced doctors and practitioners and since then, we have gone ahead to finance healthcare projects, support several hospitals, HMOs as well as partnerships with the private and public sectors including the Lagos State Government”
Omogbai who gave an overview of the global healthcare industry remarked that, “Healthcare in most of Sub-Sahara Africa remains the worst in the world. Despite decades of foreign assistance, few countries in the region are able to spend even the $34-$40 per person specified by the World Health Organization (WHO) for basic health care.”
According to her, studies conducted by International Finance Corporation (IFC) with the assistance of McKinsey & Company estimates that over this decade, $25-$30 billion in new investment is needed in healthcare assets, including hospitals, clinics and health distribution services to meet the growing health care demands.
In her keynote address, Fola Laoye, Co-Founder & CEO, Iwosan Investments noted that banks need to play a key role as industry catalysts by providing financing and understanding how MSME financing could be applied to the healthcare sector.
She also recommended mergers and acquisitions and Public Private Partnerships (PPP) financing to help create business partnerships and market consolidation that will deliver economies of scale, equipment financing and technical assistance to support healthcare clients to address their bankability factors and key issues of interest rates and FX availability.
In his presentation on the importance of digitization in the health sector, Neto Ikpeme, CEO of Wella Health Technologies touched on the adoption of technology for healthcare professionals in driving efficiency. He also said that this adoption would save time and help businesses provide better services.