The Honorable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has said that the Federal Government is open to exploring Primary Health Care (PHC) models that upgrade Primary health care centers to offer round the clock services. The Minister made this known in Abuja, at the Nigeria Health Watch Maternal Care Stakeholders Summit, theme: Advancing quality maternal care in Nigeria: What are the missing links?
He also said that partnerships that include private medical services or Public Private Partnerships that increase the reach of healthcare to rural dwellers where the gabs are most evident are also being considered.
In his key note address, Dr. Ehanire said that many studies have been carried out to identify the challenges in the provision of healthcare services to Nigerians, particularly, women and children. On this, he informed that the Federal Ministry of Health is working assiduously to address the challenges, improve poor maternal and child health indices and restore confidence in the health system.
He stressed that efforts are being made to focus on strengthening PHC service towards attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), as enshrined in Goal three of the Sustainable Development Goals. The Minster explained that this would mean improvements in reproductive, maternal, child and adolescent health + Nutrition (RMNCAH +N) and the critical item of our health agenda to provide access to free ante-natal care and delivery at primary healthcare level.
According to Ehanire, achieving UHC coverage hinges on delivering affordable, accessible and quality healthcare with a greater focus on quality of care and improved patients’ experience. Successful implementation of interventions meant to address bottlenecks that hinder demand and supply for these services will ultimately improve the overall health outcomes in the country, the Minister added.
To this end, the Minister assured that the Federal government is working on restoring and improving the midwifery service scheme to leverage on the experience of retired midwives and those currently unemployed.
These and similar interventions the Minister explained, would alleviate the manpower challenges, employ , train young people to be the links between the community and health facilities and improve the health seeking behavior of citizens.
The Summit also featured Panel Discussions on topics like: Importance of Listening to voices of women especially, women in rural communities (1st Panel) and “Listening to the voice of the Private Sector (2nd Panel).
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Report By: PRNigeria.com