By Chioma Obinna
To unlock the potential of the health sector in Nigeria, Health Federation of Nigeria, HFN, has called for a strategic partnership with the public health sector in order to get optimal service delivery in Nigeria.
The association made the call last week during their quarterly breakfast meeting in Lagos. The President of HFH, Mrs. Clare Omatseye in a chat with journalists said collaboration between public and private sectors was an opportunity to be able to unlock health care in our country.
‘’We need to be able to do Public, Private Partnership, PPP, of coming together to create that dialogue. We think that the efficiencies and discipline in the private sector is a huge advantage to the public sector and collaboration will be able to make a difference. The whole idea is that together, we can provide access to quality healthcare.
‘’We also think that private health sector has a role to play in the provision of primary health services in the country and not to go and start building brand new primary healthcare centres but majorly to be able to take over some of the moribund infrastructure, revamp it, put green energy there, put in basic equipment there and provide quality care to the average Nigerian.
‘’Finally, we think that there are four major thrust that are very important, we believe that as long as people have to pay out of pocket, it impoverishes Nigerians and therefore we need to find a way to make healthcare insurance mandatory so that every Nigerian has access to at least basic care. The provision of quality healthcare is a fundamental human right, it is the responsibility of the government in collaboration with the private health sector to be able to achieve this,” Omatseye.
She said the purpose of the meeting is to give the stewardship of their activities in the last one year and half and have interactive session with the honourable Commissioner for Health, Jide Idris, on the basic healthcare provision and the importance of how the consolidated revenue of 1 per cent the Federal Government is putting in the budget is actually going to impact on people.
Idris lauded the association for their efforts. “Personally, I believe the future of the health system lies on the private health sector in this country and whether the private health sector is ready to take that challenge, is left for them. But with what I have heard this morning, I didn’t know that you have done so much.
”So, there is a huge role for private sector in service provision and if everybody get their acts together, the government will not need to spend so much money building facility or buying equipment, we can work out arrangement with them and all these things will be sorted out by law,’’ Idris said.