Prime Minister Patrick Achi reportedly said that a World Bank program to assist medical clinics in Ivory Coast acquire equipment from Philips and General Electric is likely to help the cocoa-producing country develop into a regional medical center.
It is to be noted that various small clinics in Ivory Coast struggle to secure the bank financing required to buy or rent crucial medical equipment. Ivory Coast and the World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC) struck a USD 300 million finance arrangement on Friday to alleviate the situation by offering credit to clinics seeking to obtain supplies from Philips and General Electric.
Achi expressed this goal of expanding the private (health) sector and creating new jobs would be a failure if they do not handle the challenge of equipping the hospitals and private clinics.
The initiative is part of the IFC's Africa Medical Equipment Facility, working with African financial institutions and medical supply companies worldwide to provide small and medium-sized clinics with local currency loans to help them purchase equipment.
Philips and General Electric will be the only two businesses from which Ivorian private and public medical facilities can obtain medical equipment under the terms of the agreement, added Achi.
The exclusive clause in the agreement gives the PM a reason to be optimistic. Clinics can secure their equipment at lower costs and with easy access to spare parts by limiting their options to only two vendors, he mentioned.
The Prime Minister went on to state that one of the project's key objectives is to assure that Ivorians who have built clinics could expand their establishments into hospitals and sub-regional hospitals, to make Ivory Coast a hospital destination.
The program will largely impact clinics that want to develop into major medical facilities, according to Achi. The country can increase its regional medical presence if small institutions can independently fund their expansions.