IFC, a member of the World Bank Group is investing $6.75 million in Mauritius-based CIEL Healthcare Limited (CHL) to help the company acquire and operate a chain of hospitals across sub-Saharan Africa. The hospitals will offer high-quality, modern medical services, reaching an additional 150,000 patients per year. CHL launched its network in Uganda through the acquisition of International Medical Group (IMG) in July 2015.
CHL aims to support IMG’s expansion plans to position IMG as the market leader for private healthcare in East Africa. CHL will invest in renovating IMG’s hospital in Kampala in line with international standards, upgrading services in gynecology, general surgery, orthopedics, neurosurgery, critical care, cardiac and renal sciences. CHL is working with Fortis Healthcare, one of India’s leading integrated healthcare networks, to transfer skills and develop medical specialties in all its hospitals in Africa.
Quality healthcare is a pressing need in sub Saharan Africa, where medicine prices are among the highest in the world, and few hospitals offer specialized care. Despite widespread poverty, 50 percent of health expenditure in Sub Saharan Africa is financed by out-of-pocket payments. Africa’s health sector is fragmented across numerous clinics, hospitals and pharmacies, which results in unreliable quality and high costs for the consumer.
By acquiring and managing a network of hospitals, CHL aims to instill international best practices, standardize quality, bring in cost efficiencies, and offer a wider range of medical services in sub-Saharan Africa. Along with IMG, CHL has also invested in Fortis Clinique Darné in Mauritius and Hygeia Nigeria Limited which owns Lagoon Hospitals in Nigeria.
Alex Alexander, Managing Director of CIEL Healthcare Africa, said “IFC’s investment in CHL helps us consolidate our capital base to further expand our healthcare network in Africa, which will in turn provide access to high-quality medical care to patients in Africa. Our aim is to bring in best medical practices and technological innovation, along with our partner Fortis Healthcare. Today, we have the opportunity to demonstrate the efficiency and scalability of private healthcare in Africa."
Oumar Seydi, IFC Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, said “Private providers like CIEL Healthcare can support governments in Africa in improving quality and reach of health coverage. IFC’s investment in CIEL Healthcare will help build an integrated network of hospitals in Africa, which offer reliable services at consistent costs. By partnering with India’s Fortis Healthcare, CHL can ensure that health care in Africa keeps up with international in medical technology.”
IFC is the world’s largest multilateral investor in private healthcare, managing an active portfolio of about $1.3 billion worth of health investments. IFC investments in service providers, pharmaceuticals and medical technology are aimed at promoting greater access to affordable, high-quality healthcare.