A Consultant Cardiologist, Dr Moronkola Ramon, on Tuesday called for a deliberate government policy to stimulate expansion of quality private healthcare facilities in order to achieve universal health coverage.
Moronkola, who works with the Kleinburg Medical Centre, Victoria Island, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the 2019 World Health Day in Lagos.
NAN reports that the 2019 World Health Day emphasised the need to give people access to healthcare without the prospect of financial hardship.
The theme was: “Universal Health Coverage, Everyone, Everywhere.”
The World Health Day is a global health awareness day celebrated on every April 7 under the sponsorship of the World Health Organisation (WHO), as well as other related organisations.
According to Moronkola, achieving universal health coverage is a must do task that requires concerted efforts.
“There should be a deliberate government policy that will not only stimulate proliferation of quality private healthcare facilities, but also encourage the situation in rural communities.
“But beyond that, the private sector has an invaluable role to play if we are to achieve universal health coverage.
“One policy that can drive this is a compulsory health insurance scheme that will cover public, private and informal sector.
“Just like the principle of economy that an increase in demand will definitely increase supply, an efficient robust health insurance will provide a pool of financially capable patients which every reasonable investor will want to tap into.
“Also, the huge fund that will be available can be a source of loan facility for hospital upgrade of investment in new health technology,” he said.
Moronkola, who is also the Secretary, Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Lagos Chapter, said that there should be an urgent improvement in the number and quality of the primary healthcare centres across the country.
“The association has done a lot in this regard, though, the commitment of the government is still key.
“This will be complemented by a proper and effective referral system which will allow complex cases to be taken to a secondary or tertiary facility.
“At a recently concluded Health Summit organised by the leadership of NMA Lagos, lack of effective referral system is one of the major challenges identified as preventing proper healthcare delivery in the state.
“We will recall that in 2014, the National leadership of NMA engaged the government on the need to introduce rural posting allowance to the remuneration packages of health professionals.
“This was done in a bit to encourage health workers to accept posting to the rural areas,” he said.
Moronkola, however, urged the Federal Government to adopt a more systematic way of choosing the leadership in the health sector that would reflect a bottom to top approach.
“One of the major challenges facing the health sector is poor leadership which is born out of the selection process.
“Most of the leaders in the health sector believe their allegiance is to the government since they occupy the sit only at the mercy of the president or governor.
“This they do at the expense of proper running of the facility and welfare of the staff,” he said.
In his comments, Dr Moses Adeosun, an Ophthalmologist, said that eye care services should be introduced into the primary healthcare in order to ensure universal eye health across the nation.
Adeosun, who works with Boyale Eye Clinic, Ikeja, said that by introducing the eye care services into the Primary Healthcare Scheme, there would be accessibility to basic eye care across the communities.
“Universal eye health simply means that everyone should have access to quality eye healthcare.
“With primary eye care services rendered at the primary healthcare level, there will be community extension eye health workers who will go into the communities to educate the masses about eye conditions that can cause blindness.
“This will ensure adequate prevention of eye diseases and also provide opportunity for quick treatment as and when necessary,” he said. (NAN)
– Apr. 8, 2019 @ 06:11 GMT |