NEWS DIGEST – The Federal Government will upgrade the 22 teaching hospitals in the country and construct a new 500-bed state-of-the-art Specialist Hospital, in Abuja through Public Private Partnership (PPP), according to the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC),
Mr Patrick Ederaro, Acting Head, Media and Publicity, ICRC, made this known in a statement on Saturday, in Abuja.
Ederaro said that the concession model for the existing teaching hospitals’ equipment that would be supplied would be world class standard and life cycle maintenance.
According to him, there will not be a full concession of any of the entire existing teaching hospitals, so there will be no job losses.
“There will be concessions on and of specific services, for medical equipment supplied like Dialysis Unit, Imaging Unit, Diagnostic Services and other departments mentioned above.
“The concessionaire will finance the supply and maintenance of world class dialysis units and perform to very high output specifications and contracted key performance indicators.”
He added that medical services in the hospitals would be run by the Chief Medical Director (CMD) and his or her staff, but with the benefit of world class support services, provided by the private concessionaire.
Ederaro said that the scope of the concessionaire was limited to the specific service over which the concession was granted to the consortium.
However, the new state-of-the-art 500-bed Federal Centre of Medical Excellence, in Abuja, would be the only full concession, where the concessionaire would be responsible for all medical services.
The statement recalled that the Federal Government in 2003 embarked on modernisation and upgrading of 14 teaching hospitals in two phases, considering the magnitude and availability of funds.
“The first and second phases of the above mentioned modernisation programme were implemented on a credit purchase arrangement, with a partnership agreement between the Ministry of Health, VAMED Engineering and CPL Medical Group.
“This was with a specific delivery joint venture agreement between CPL Medical Group and VAMED Engineering.
“Since life cycle maintenance was not part of the procurement arrangement, these phases were not as successful as the federal government had envisaged”, he said.
Ederaro said that the first and second phases were procured using traditional public procurement methodology, adding that the President, thereafter, approved the new phase to be implemented through PPP procurement methodology.
He said that the commission issued an Outline Business Case (OBC) Compliance Certificate, to enable the project proceed to the PPP Procurement phase.
“It is instructive to note that the financial model for the OBC for the teaching hospitals and revenue projections are based on current charges – there will be no increase in medical service delivery charges.
“The bankable business case demonstrates that medical services can indeed be provided to Nigerians, at the same costs they are paying, if a service delivery model that attracts sustainable investment to upgrade and renew hospital facilities is used.
“This is essentially what the teaching hospitals’ PPP project is all about. High quality medical services delivered to Nigerians at present cost or lower, due to higher efficiency with no job losses, ” he said.
Ederaro added that in view of the special and social nature of medical facilities, the OBC and OBC Compliance Certificate by the ICRC would be submitted to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approval.
He said it was only on the approval of FEC that the PPP procurement stage leading to the selection of PPP partners would happen.
According to him, the third phase of the project will involve the equipping, facilities upgrading and modernisation of eight new teaching hospitals.
The teaching hospitals include the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada; University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Akwa Ibom; Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Edo; and the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebonyi.
Others are the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi; Federal Teaching Hospital, Gombe; National Hospital, Abuja; and Federal Teaching Hospital Ado-Ekiti.
It would also include the equipping and facilities upgrading, rehabilitation and modernisation of 14 teaching hospitals under Phases one and two.
The PPP/Concession project benefits would among others, address the gaps in the teaching hospitals, towards providing access to quality healthcare delivery across Nigeria.
Ederaro said that successful implementation of the project would ensure improvement and sustainability of high quality clinical and diagnostics services.
It would also ensure improvement in learning and research facilities across all the 22 teaching hospitals.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that ICRC was established to regulate PPP activities in Nigeria to address physical infrastructure deficits, which hamper economic development. (NAN)