IFC to invest $3m to improve access to medical diagnostics in Ghana
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has signed a partnership agreement with South African radiology specialist Bergman, Ross and Partners Incorporated (BRP) to increase access to world-class medical diagnostic services in Ghana.
Under the partnership, IFC would invest roughly $3 million in Quest Medical Imaging (QMI) to build new medical diagnostic facilities in Accra to complement an existing facility in the city that provides ultrasound, fluoroscopy, digital X-ray, 3D mammography, Computed Tomography (CT), and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).
Signing the partnership agreement in Accra, Ronke Ogunsulire, IFC’s Country Manager for Ghana, said, “As we deal with the present emergency, IFC is also thinking beyond the pandemic.
He said IFC’s investment in the expansion of QMI increased Ghana’s domestic capacity for diagnostic services and strengthened the resilience of its health system to deal with future stress.
He said BRP’s digital systems enabled its radiologists to import images from distant locations for analysis, something expected to allow QMI to expand outside Accra and into other parts of Ghana.
BRP was also training Ghanaian technicians to undertake world-class medical diagnostics.
Ms Ronke explained that IFC’s investment in QMI fell under IFC’s Global Health Platform, which mobilised private investment to close the massive healthcare supply gaps created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This investment will be IFC’s third in healthcare in Ghana since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said. “The combined value of those investments is more than $10 million.”
Over the last decade, IFC had provided more than $4 billion in financing and advisory services to Ghanaian companies in sectors, such as agribusiness, education, energy, healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, retail, tourism, and transport,” she stated.
The new facilities are expected to be operational by the end of 2022 and will help QMI serve in excess of 5,000 patients monthly, up from the 3,000 it serves currently.
It will also increase the number of scanners and other diagnostic equipment in the country.
Jack Bergman, Founder and Managing Partner of BRP, said the company had seen a surge in demand for its services to 50 per cent in the country since the outbreak of the pandemic.
“We have responded by expanding our operations to seven days a week. With IFC’s support, the new facilities will help us meet the needs of our patients for world-class medical diagnostic imaging and analysis,” he said.
IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets.
It operates in more than 100 countries, using its capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries.
“In the fiscal 2020 year, we invested $22 billion in private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
BRP was established in 1995 as a small radiology practice in Cape Town by Jack Bergman, Bergman, Ross and Partners Incorporated (BRP).
Currently, its part of a group of 20 radiology diagnostic centres across South Africa, where the company is headquartered, and Ghana, serving more than 15,000 patients a month.
BRP’s operations in Ghana are carried out under a separate entity, Quest Medical Imaging Limited (QMI Ghana). Both BRP and QMI Ghana provide a full range of diagnostic services, including ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, CT digital X-rays, fluoroscopy, and mammography.
Across its South Africa and Ghana centres, BRP has treated over 2,600 COVID-19 patients since the pandemic began.