Government begins modernisation of teaching hospitals via PPP model

Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital

The Federal Government has begun the third phase of upgrade and modernisation of teaching hospitals under a public-private partnership (PPP) model.

Consequently, the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) has issued to the Federal Ministry of Health a document titled, “Outline Business Case Certificate of Compliance for the Rehabilitation, Equipment Supply and Management of Federal Teaching Hospitals in Nigeria.”

Speaking at the event in Abuja, the Director-General of ICRC, Chidi Izuwah, hinted that contracts for the rehabilitation, refurbishment, upgrade and equipment modernisation and standardisation of the medical facilities were awarded to CPL Medical Group and VAMED Engineering in 2003.

He noted that the health ministry was displeased with the impact of the exercise 16 years ago hence the submission of a proposal for the third phase to President Muhammadu Buhari for approval.

According to him, the request was sanctioned by the presidency with a directive that this particular phase be implemented on a PPP basis.

He said: “Under this PPP arrangement, the private sector is responsible for investing, operating and maintaining those facilities over a period of time and recover their investment from a combination of user fee and potential revenue from the government.”

Izuwah disclosed that CPL Medical Group, through the ministry, submitted an unsolicited PPP proposal which was sent to the ICRC, adding that a proposition would be sought from the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for an accelerated PPP pilot scheme for six teaching hospitals, one in each of the geopolitical zones, and a 500-bed Federal Medical Centre of Excellence in Abuja.

In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Abdullazizi Mashi Abdullahi, noted that the project was a milestone and consistent with President Buhari’s passion for human capacity development.

He commended the ICRC for lending support to the current administration’s effort at reducing maternal mortality nationwide, pledging that the ministry would take necessary actions to ensure the realisation of the project.

Meanwhile, the United States government is making available an additional $75 million to fight the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in Nigeria.

Making the disclosure in a statement by the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy, the American nation pointed out that People Living with HIV (PLHIV) globally needed appropriate medical treatment to live a normal and healthy life.

The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), administered by the U.S. Centres for Disease Control (CDC), U.S. Department of Defence and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is implementing an Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) surge programme in Rivers State to identify and provide treatment to approximately 180,000 carriers who have not previously received such.

Ambassador W. Stuart Symington yesterday led a delegation on a courtesy visit to Governor Nyesom Wike at Government House, Port Harcourt to highlight his government’s $75 million budget increase for HIV control activities in Nigeria, with some $25 million allocated for the ART activities.

The envoy commended his host for moving to eliminate user-fees for PLHIV.

The delegation was in the state to advocate elimination of user fee for PLIV, antenatal care charges for pregnant women living with the virus and other barriers hindering PLHIV from accessing health services.

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