SBP doubles subsidised financing for hospitals

Updated 30 Sep 2020

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The State Bank of Pakistan has decided to double the amount of subsidised financing to establish hospitals in the country, a circular issued by the central bank said on Tuesday. — File
The State Bank of Pakistan has decided to double the amount of subsidised financing to establish hospitals in the country, a circular issued by the central bank said on Tuesday. — File

KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan has decided to double the amount of subsidised financing to establish hospitals in the country, a circular issued by the central bank said on Tuesday.

“It has been decided to enhance loan size from Rs500 million to Rs1 billion per hospital,” the SBP said. The bank further said the scheme for setting up of new hospitals will remain valid up till June 30, 2021.

The State Bank has been providing subsidised financing for hospitals in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

During the peak of coronavirus in the country, the government found it difficult to deal with the size of the infections while private hospitals were also not equipped properly to deal with thousands of Covid-19 patients in all the provinces.

In an earlier circular, the SBP extended flexibility for the health sector under its Refinance Facility to Combat Covid-19 (RFCC). Through a circular the central bank allowed hospitals and medical centers to obtain subsidised financing against the existing equipment and purchase of refurbished equipment as well, provided the same are used in creation of special facility and isolation ward to deal with Covid-19.

On March 18, SBP Governor Dr. Reza Baqir announced a the RFCC scheme to help hospitals and health care facilities engaged in containing the spread of coronavirus across the country.

He said the scheme will extend financing to hospitals and medical centers registered with the provincial or federal health agencies at 3 per cent. Medical establishments could avail the facility for purchase of equipment to detect, contain and treat the coronavirus.

The total size of the scheme was set at Rs5bn with a maximum financing limit per hospital of Rs200m. This limit has been now increased to Rs1bn per hospital.

A number of special facilities were established and laboratories were activated to test Covid-19.

Published in Dawn, September 30th, 2020