Nairametrics|Insurer AXA Mansard and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) have commenced discussion on the establishment of a multi specialist hospital and healthcare centres in the country. The location and estimated cost of the facilities have not been stated.
The healthcare sector in the country is one plagued with several issues. Hospitals owned by government are poorly funded and often overstretched beyond capacity. Private hospitals have fees that are beyond the reach of the common man. Nigeria has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world at 71.2 deaths for every 1,000 live births. Maternal mortality rates are also high at 814 deaths for every 100,000 live births. The dire state of the healthcare sector was illuminated by President Muhammadu Buhari’s trip to the United Kingdom for medical treatment. The president also intends to fly in his doctors from the UK to continue his treatment.
This shows a clear need for affordable, yet quality healthcare. The collaboration between the IFC and Mansard is beneficial to both companies and the nation as a whole. For Mansard, the hospital will be a form of backward integration as the company already provides health insurance and has a health maintenance organization (HMO). This will enable Mansard to provide cheaper packages for its customers. For the IFC, the proposed investment will be one of several it has made in the country. The organization had previously provided finance for Aiico Insurance to expand its retail insurance and is one of the financiers of the 450MW Independent Power Project (IPP) located in Edo State.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) was established in 1956 and is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group. It provides both finance and technical advice for private sector projects all over the world. The IFC currently has a billion dollar portfolio in the country.
AXA Mansard was incorporated in 1989 and was previously owned by GT Bank until the bank sold its stake in line with a CBN policy for banks to form a holding company or divest from non core subsidiaries. French insurer, AXA bought majority stake in the company in 2014.