Diamond Bank Plc is partnering with Medical Credit Fund, Netherlands, to provide affordable loans to private primary healthcare providers
| By Chinwe Okafor | Apr. 7, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT
NIGERIANS can now look forward to enjoying improved medical care as Diamond Bank Plc, a leading retail bank in the country, has signed a partnership agreement with Netherlands-based Medical Credit Fund, MCF, to provide affordable loans to private primary healthcare providers to improve the quality of their services.
The bank said that loan provision under the partnership comes at affordable terms and could be combined with a comprehensive technical advisory package, which allows the healthcare providers to improve the clinical quality of their services whilst strengthening their business models. The partnership will target lower and mid-tier healthcare suppliers also known as ‘Health SMEs.’ Technical advisory services for medical quality and business improvement can be provided by the MCF and its technical partners. For both the MCF and Diamond Bank, it is the second partnership of this nature in the country, allowing for leverage of resources and skills.
Speaking at a press conference held after the partnership agreement signing ceremony, Uzoma Dozie, executive director, retail banking, Diamond Bank, said, “We at Diamond Bank welcome this valuable addition to our product range. There is tremendous potential at the lower and middle end of the healthcare market. With access to capital, clinics will be able to upgrade their quality as well as their business models, leading to overall improvement of healthcare delivery in the sector and by extension, better healthcare delivery for Nigerians.”
Speaking on behalf of the MCF, Herman Abels, director, operations at the organisation, said the company is very proud to announce this new partnership. “Our research indicates that many clinics continue to struggle to meet conventional loan conditions. With Diamond Bank now on board, we hope to bridge the finance gap for these healthcare providers and ultimately expand our activities in Nigeria.”
The Medical Credit Fund is the first social financing fund that introduces a new approach in sustainable improvement of private health care in Africa. It aims to reduce the unknown risks of investing in primary health care, leading to increased transparency and trust so that the lower end of the health market becomes financeable and scalable. The Fund facilitates access to loans to private primary health care providers that serve low-income groups through local financial institutions. This finance programme is combined with internationally certified clinical (SafeCare) and business technical advisory services. Loans and advisory services are used to improve the quality of the health clinics, which will lead to expanded and improved health care services for more people.
Diamond Bank has come to be regarded as the leading supporter of small businesses in Nigeria, granting more than N120 billion in loans to more than 120,000 MSMEs in Nigeria since 2009. The Bank boasts of a dedicated MSME team with a deep understanding of the concerns bothering small businesses and have consequently developed a methodology that has allowed the bank lend to MSMEs with little or no collateral security. The bank also provides non-financial support ranging from access-to-market initiatives to capacity-building seminars and clinics to MSMEs.