Consistent with its mantra of big thinking and innovation in policy direction driven by the need of the Nigerian people, the umbrella body of the Peter Obi Presidential campaign organisation, the BIG-TENT for Peter Obi has organised the first-ever global town hall meeting on healthcare, the first in a series, designed to listen to Nigerians in every facet of national development.
In his opening remarks at the town hall meeting on Monday, attended online and physically by medical practitioners in the country and from across the globe, appropriately tagged “Listening Clinic on Healthcare,” convener of the BIG-TENT for Peter Obi, Professor Pat Utomi, regretted that policy articulation in the country so far is not driven by listening because people in government hardly listen with the attendant consequence of misplaced prioritization in allocation of scarce resources.
Charles Odibo, Director of Media and Communications for the BIG-TENT for Peter Obi, quotes Professor Utomi as reiterating the importance of effective healthcare delivery in our country as no nation can be prosperous without a viable healthcare delivery system, hence the imperative of the listening clinic to elicit informed feedback from doctors and medics to enunciate healthcare policies that will build a healthy and productive nation that the country desires.
Opening the discussion, a representative of Doctors and Medics for Peter Obi, a group of voluntary medical practitioners supporting Peter Obi’s candidacy identified primary healthcare delivery as being central in fixing the nation’s decayed healthcare system. Other critical factors needed to improve healthcare delivery, according to this group include the need to give adequate health education to the general public, especially in the rural areas, required infrastructure for primary healthcare, and the need to curb the incessant misapplication of funds in the healthcare system.
Other medical practitioners, at home and from across the globe regretted that the nation still lacks electronic medical record system and harped on the need for it to be developed urgently so that patients can have unified and integrated records in the system across hospitals nationwide.
Other issues raised by the participating doctors and medics include the need for effective implementation of the nation’s healthcare insurance scheme to ensure that citizens have access to quality healthcare and guarantee proper funding of the sector; regulation of production, supply, storage, and consumption of drugs; enacting and enforcing regulations to prevent non-certified pharmacists owning and running pharmacies.
Overall, participants at the town hall meeting were delighted and appreciative of the distinctive and differentiated direction in policy formulation by the Peter Obi team to ignite a bottom-up engagement driven by a common purpose.
As pointed out by Professor Pat Utomi, this new thinking on governance is about Nigerians getting together to follow a well-articulated national agenda based on Peter Obi’s new approach to governance, an approach that underlies his perspective and future-forward positioning on the polity and state of the nation.