Focus on primary healthcare, health promotion-Medical doctor tells govt

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A medical doctor, Dr Daniel Folukoya has called on the three tiers of government to shift focus on primary health care and health promotion, in order to reduce healthcare cost.

Folukoya, who is the Founder, OneDokita, a medical technology company,Lagos, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos.

According to him, attaining Universal Health Coverage (UHC) will require functional primary health care systems.

“UHC, simply put, aims to tackle the provision of health services for the populace as well as the cost of provision of such services.

“When it comes to funding, there is still a lot of work to be done in terms of funding healthcare in Nigeria.

“The government budgetary allocation for health leaves most of the cost of healthcare to be paid out of pocket.

“The average Nigerian can barely afford the cost of living without the added cost of healthcare services, so there is a poor health seeking behaviour among Nigerians.

“Many people wait until they are seriously ill and already in need of tertiary health care before presenting at the hospital.

“At this stage, health interventions cost the state and the facilities a lot more and since majority of the financial burden is on people living below a dollar a day, health outcomes are deplorable.

“So, there is need for government to shift focus to primary healthcare and health promotion to reduce costs,“ he said.

The medical doctor said that accessibility to health information was a key element that united primary care and health promotion.

According to him, when people are not aware they never do better in terms of their health.

“Often times, the difference between life and death is critical information being available in time to take the necessary steps to save life.

“OneDokita is dedicated to filling the gap that exists in terms of health information.

“Our helpline service takes advantage of the relatively low cost of owning a mobile phone and the steady rise in mobile phone penetration in the Nigerian market to provide 24-hour access to clinically accurate health triaging services.“

Triage service, in medical terms, means the prioritisation of patients for medical treatment.

It is also a process of prioritising sick or injured people for treatment according to the seriousness of their condition or injury.

“What this does is to alleviate the information asymmetry that exists between healthcare providers and the patients, “ Folukoya said.

The founder said that there was need for government to partner with the private sector in order to solve the issue of accessibility to healthcare.

He also said that access was a critical issue, adding that the primary health care centres alone could not solve.

“It is not far-fetched to imagine a situation in which a patient walks into a primary healthcare facility on a day when the doctor is not in.

“Instead of being told to come back, they are ushered into a booth where they can have a video consultation with a doctor.

“The doctor can then diagnose with the aid of health workers on ground who can be directed to do the necessary physical examinations and report findings.

“The government needs to invest more in technology and partner with organisations that can provide the technological support in order for people to access quality healthcare at no cost.’’ (NAN)

– Oct. 29, 2018 @ 12:59 GMT |

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