Health Minister, Dr Osagie Ehanire

FG, GMD, Stakeholders parley to achieve Universal Health Coverage

The Federal Government is poised to strengthen its partnership with the Guild of Medical Directors, Stakeholders and other Health Providers to strengthen the collaborative efforts of Medical Health practitioners in order to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in the country.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire said this in Abuja during the 25th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the National Guild of Medical Directors, with the theme “Achieving Universal Coverage” and sub-theme “Rethinking of Business Model for Private Practice in Nigeria”.

Dr. Ehanire who was represented by Dr. Sani Nasir Gwazo, a Director in the Minister’s office stated that it is worrisome that patients have almost lost confidence in the country’s medical system, consequently, “they prefer traveling abroad to seek medical attention, though, it is capital intensive.’’ This continues despite the good hospitals and qualified Medical Doctors in Nigeria.

He therefore charged the Guild of Medical Directors to explore, articulate and discuss extensively on how health providers can renew the trust and confidence of health beneficiaries so as to stem medical tourism and stimulate Nigeria economy.

The Minister therefore advised the GMD to submit its proposal to his office for prompt attention and possible implementation towards the actualisation of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

Speaking earlier, the National President of the Guild, Professor Olufemi Dokun Babalola,  said one of the objectives of the GMD, is to advance the provision of quality health care delivery in private medical clinics and hospitals, to encourage the business of private health care providers and to create a forum for interactions among professionally qualified medical directors.

Prof. Babalola stated that Nigeria is facing challenges in delivering affordable and quality health care services to Nigerians, but assured that at the end of their meeting, they would be able to come up with practical solutions which would be recommended to the Honourable Minister of Health for further study and implementation.

The National President noted that many of their clinics are blazing trails in areas of orthopedics, neurosurgery cardiology, ophthalmology and urology including kidney transplanting, as well as other areas. He said that time would come when it will no longer be necessary for Nigerians to travel abroad for advanced health care services.

He further stated that private practice needs encouragement from the government which could be done by the creation of enabling environment and exemption from multiple taxations of hospitals and clinics.

Enefaa Bob-Manuel

Head (Media & Public Relation)