By Chinelo Azike
Irked by the state of healthcare across Nigeria, the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, has called for the immediate revitalization of Primary Healthcare, PHCs facilities nationwide.
READ ALSO:265 Enugu residents benefit from Nigerian Army medical outreach(Opens in a new browser tab)
Making the demand in a 19 – point communique issued at the end of its 2nd Health Summit in Abuja and jointly signed by the President, Dr. Francis Faduyile and Secretary, Dr. Odusote Olumuyiwa, they insisted that Primary Health Care remains the bedrock for the achievement of Universal Health Coverage, UHC.
According to them, there is a close link between Primary Health Care and patient-centred Care, hence, the need for urgent attention.
They implored the governments to revamp the Primary Health Care system with a focus on funding, infrastructural rehabilitation & development, human resource for health and policy implementation.
Continuing, the summit implored State Governments to learn from the experience of the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, and emphasized the need for critical stakeholders’ engagement at all stages. “We are also convinced that if well structured, the NHIS has the potential to facilitate Universal Health Coverage for all Nigerians.” Further, they called on the Governments to ensure transparency and open accountability in the management of the 1 per cent Consolidated Revenue Fund, as well as increase budgetary allocation to the health sector to at least 15 percent inline with Abuja Declaration of 2001 and explore other innovative funding options for the sector.
The doctors note that “Private Public Partnership (PPP) should form a core option in Healthcare Financing and expressed the importance of transparency in PPP process. “Government at all levels should provide enabling environment and right policies leading to reversal of medical tourism thereby saving huge resources.”
They maintained that governments should genuinely commit to the stop medical tourism agenda of the current administration by implementing policy that would prevent public office holders from seeking care abroad on what they described as ‘frivolous grounds’.
The Summit reiterated that Governments, health care providers and all stakeholders should be greatly committed to the full implementation of the National Health Act as it was the panacea to the revamping of the collapsing health care system in Nigeria.
They however, urged all stakeholders in the health sector especially, healthcare professionals to jettison the ‘Traditional Care Pattern’ and imbibe patient centered approach to care that bring to fore the contributions of patients and their relations in all aspect of care with desirable outcomes.
The Summit reiterated the significance of team work, as the success of patient centered Care largely depends on complete unbiased information sharing in timely fashions, clear definition of roles, commitment to stated goals and mutual respect.