Royal Philips, a diversified technology company focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of healthcare, consumer lifestyle and lighting; along with the Medical Credit Fund, a part of the PharmAccess Group and Diamond Bank plc are launching a partnership to improve access to quality healthcare in Nigeria.
The Medical Credit Fund is a non-profit health investment fund. It supports private healthcare facilities in Africa obtaining capital to strengthen and upgrade their operations in order to enhance access to affordable quality healthcare.
The partnership will help small and medium-sized private clinics acquire innovative medical technologies and services from Philips through Diamond Bank’s Mediloan QualityCare programme.
Loans under this programme are backed with business and medical quality assessments plus training implemented by the Medical Credit Fund using the Safecare standards. With this arrangement, clinics can expand and improve the quality of their services, giving more people access to quality healthcare.
Across sub-Saharan Africa, the majority of healthcare facilities are small, private health clinics and diagnostic centres. Most small and medium-sized private clinics in Nigeria cannot obtain financing from banks due to the perceived high investment risks.
As a result, they are not able to invest in medical equipment, carry out necessary renovation works or recruit qualified personnel. At the same time these clinics serve more than half of the population in Nigeria, primarily low-income earners.
Around the world, some 800 women die everyday as a result of complications that arise during pregnancy or childbirth. Many of these problems can be prevented if identified on time. This is one of the elements the Diamond Mediloan QualityCare Programme addresses.
Midwives can have access to mobile ultrasound equipment which enables them carry out relatively straightforward but critical examinations during pregnancy. The mobile ultrasound equipment can also be taken to rural villages to screen women that are not able to reach the clinics. The clinics will also be eligible to obtain loans to acquire patient monitoring and X-ray systems from Philips for the examination and treatment of patients.
The loans, under the Diamond Mediloan Qualitycare Programme are tailor-made to suit the needs of the individual clinical facility. This programme is marketed by a partnership representing best-in-class players in this field. Diamond Bank has carved a niche for itself as a major player in the Micro Small and Medium scale Enterprises (MSME) space in Nigeria and recognises the potentials of MSMEs, hindrances to their growth and challenges faced by them.
Commenting on the partnership, Jude Anele, head, direct banking, Diamond Bank plc, said: “this partnership is a demonstration of the boundless possibilities the Diamond Mediloan QualityCare Programme now provides. Now, clinics that sign unto the program stand to enjoy flexible financing options for the purchase of much needed medical equipment from Phillips. We are delighted in this partnership as it will catalyse the development of the nation’s health sector.”
Monique Dolfing-Vogelenzang, managing director, Medical Credit Fund, said “what we have seen is that clinics often use a loan to invest in medical equipment. It is therefore very important that quality equipment tailored to local circumstances is available in the market.
“Philips aims to contribute substantially to improving healthcare in Africa through innovative solutions that are tailored to local needs. Many clinics across Nigeria would like to invest in new medical technology, but find it difficult to obtain the necessary finance.
“Through this partnership we enable them to make quality Philips healthcare solutions available to a large group of people who need them the most. This also represents the next step in the further expansion of our activities in Nigeria,” says Rob Armstrong, general manager, Philips Health Systems West Africa.