We need both private, public sectors to achieve UHC in Nigeria, says Sen. Oloriegbe

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Sen. Ibrahim Oloriegbe, Chairman, Senate Committee on Health

 THE Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Sen. Ibrahim Oloriegbe, says Nigeria needs to have both the private and public sectors on board to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

Oloriegbe said this at the official launch of a book: “Universal Health Care and access by the lower-income population: An exploration of capitation in Lagos, Nigeria”, on Tuesday in Abuja.

The book, written by Dr. Charlse Ezuma-Ngwu, explores UHC and by triangulating multiple data points, reveals a general clustering of clinics in metropolitan Lagos, paucity of disease-reporting, and scarcity of clinics and HMOs on the outskirts of the city.

He said that UHC  remained the most important thing that public health had offered to improve the lives of the vulnerable in the country.

Comrade Ayuba Wabba, President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, said that the book would not only contribute to the body of knowledge, but also` improve the lives of vulnerable Nigerians.

Wabba called on Nigerians to seriously advocate to ensure that the recommendations in the  book were implemented.

“The labour union remains committed to supporting every scheme that can help us to achieve UHC in Nigeria.

“But, we must begin to look out for more innovative ways to raise resources to achieve UHC in the country,” he said.

While speaking on the strategies for delivering quality healthcare to the informal sector, the Country Director for Pathfinder International, Nigeria, Dr. Amina Dorayi, said at Pathfinder they believed that every individual, regardless of where they lived, deserved quality healthcare and have the right to decide when to be pregnant.

Dorayi stressed that this cannot be achieved without having access to UHC, in the country.

“If we’ve not addressed the issues that affect women and children in Nigeria, then we’ve not started achieving Universal Health Care, because they are the ones that seek healthcare more in any country of the globe, including Nigeria,” she said.

Dr. Ogundu Ngwu, a cardiologist noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had shown that health care was about protecting our neighbour and the next person close to us, noting that this underscored the critical role of primary health care in increasing access to services in the country.

According to Dr. Chima Onoka, a health economist, unless quality healthcare was provided for the informal sector in Nigeria, achieving UHC would remain a mirage.

Onoka noted that people outside the health sector needed to come in, if the country must achieved UHC.

Meanwhile, Dr. Ifeanyi Nsofor, CEO EpiAFRIC says the current COVID-19 pandemic had taught Nigerians  that without health they had nothing.

Nsofor added that it was impossible for Nigerians to achieve UHC in the country, when millions of people in the country lacked access to quality and affordable health care.

Earlier, Ezuma-Ngwu said the book presented a research-based exploration of UHC and the benefits of healthcare providers’ capitation payment method in many developing economies.

He said he began the research study by describing the history of healthcare in Nigeria and exposing the country’s healthcare problems that must be addressed to ensure healthcare access to the low-income population.

“The book leads the reader through perspectives on the major world’s healthcare payment systems, which include, diagnosis-related group (DRG); pay-for-performance (P4P); global budgeting payment systems; fee-for-service (FFS) payment system; and a provider-based capitation payment (PBCP) system.,” he explained.

He said the book recommended an alternative method for delivering Healthcare to the impoverished populations in Nigeria and developing economies worldwide.

NAN recalled that Ezuma-Ngwu is an award-winning top-performing Financial, Budget Analysis and Strategic Performance leader with a proven 20-year track record of dramatically increasing the integrity and utility of financial data used in the healthcare business decision process. (NAN)

- Sept. 15, 2021 @ 08:30 GMT |

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