By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
The Federal Government has advocated for a stronger collaboration with private medical practitioners to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, made the advocacy call on Friday in Abuja, at the 25th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the National Guild of Medical Directors (GMD) on Friday in Abuja.
The minister was represented by Dr Sanni Gwazo, Director Minister’s office, at the programme themed; “Achieving Universal Health Coverage”, with sub theme “ Rethinking Business Models For Private Practice in Nigeria”.
The minister called on the private sector to provide enabling environment for the government on partnership that would work to drive the health sector’s efficiency in the country.
On his part, the Chairman, House Committee on Healthcare Services, Dr Yusuf Sununu, said that the legislature would maintain an ongoing dialogue with professional groups and associations in the health sector to ensure UHC.
According to him, “this is aimed at addressing issues of labour relations, welfare, and quality service delivery.
‘’ The House of Representatives will fund efforts to establish Special Hospitals , research centres and rapid response units.
‘’They will be used for treatment, study, management and controlof serious diseases such as cancer, diabetes, renal disease, HIV/AIDS,Ebola, Lassa fever and cardiovascular diseases.
On her part, the Chairperson of Guild of Medical Directors (GMD) FCT Chapter, Dr Chiro Nwana said the conference provided a unique opportunity for stakeholders to come up with practical solutions to overcome challenges of the health sector.
She said one of the ways the government had engaged the private health facilities was through the NHIS where enrollees in the scheme could seek care in some of private hospitals, adding that there is low enrollment rate.
Nwana said that the improvement of enrollment can be achieved if patients are enrolled in facility of their choice as the private sector provides over 50 per cent of the healthcare in the country.