‘Govt can improve access to quality healthcare through PPP model’

The Medical Director of the Garki Hospital, Dr. Adamu Onu has said that the hospital’s Public Private Partnership (PPP) model offers the country lessons that government can build upon to improve access to the to quality and affordable healthcare for Nigerians.

Onu who stated this while speaking with journalists in Abuja, noted that the hospital has attended to more than two million patients and had done a number of kidney transplant and open heart surgeries and other procedures while providing accessible and affordable health care services to the residents of Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

He noted that the Garki Hospital has never recorded any strike and has trained about 18 consultants, trained 180 house officers adding that the hospital was not functional for about six years before it was concessioned out to NISA Medical Group at no cost to the government because the government has not provided any form of subvention throughout this period of 15 years.

Onu observed that though the concessioning agreement entered into with the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) elapsed on April 1, 2022, the NISA Premier Medical group has continued to provide uninterrupted services to patients at the Garki Hospital.

He explained that the Garki hospital was concessioned to NISA Premier Medical Group in 2007 by the FCTA and has run as a Public Private Partnership for the past 15 years without interruption.

The Medical Director stated that it has spent over N10 billion on staff salaries alone and has saved the FCTA billions of naira from the concesssion in terms of amount invested in state-of-the-art equipment and training of doctors in the hospital.

Onu said, “The concession has a time limit and has come to an end, and it is left for the administration to decide what to do but we hope that the administration will take note of what has happened here, take note of the successes and how it has saved the government huge amount of resources, this PPP can offer us lessons that government can build upon in terms of improving access to the to healthcare for Nigerians. Every staff was employed by NISA Hospital and every equipment was procured by NISA Medical Group including the dialysis machines, Computed Tomography (CT) scan, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and lab equipment. This concession has saved the FCTA billions of naira, we have spent over N10 billion in staff salaries alone, not to talk of the amount we have spent on training and invested in equipment to the level that people come in and have their test done and have treatment.

The Medical Director who observed that expressed optimism that what will guide the FCTA is in the public treatment and take into cognizant, the achievement recorded by the hospital management in the last 15 years.

On whether the agreement signed with the FCTA provided for a review or extension of the concessionary period, the Medical Director said, “There are clauses in the agreement which provides for review, we have written with the FCTA at least four times taking advantage of the clause to seek meetings and discuss how to strengthen review the agreement and bring it in line with international best practice and ICRC regulations which governs all such concessions bearing in mind that this is the first ever PPP concession of this type in the country, we wrote to them about four times but we received no reply, we believe that the FCTA will be guided by what is in the public interest, I think we have done well enough, people are accessing quality and affordable care in the hospital and the patients can give the verdict. I am sure that we will have a conversation with the FCTA.”