The federal government is poised to strengthen its partnership with the Guild of Medical Directors and other stakeholders to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in the country.
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said this in a statement signed by Mrs Enefaa Bob-Manuel, Head of Media and Public Relations in the Federal Ministry of Health, on Monday in Abuja.
According to the statement, Ehanire said this at the 25th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the National Guild of Medical Directors.
Dr Ehanire was represented by Dr Sani Gwazo, a Director in the Minister’s office, at the conference with the theme; “Achieving Universal Coverage”
The sub-theme of the conference is “Rethinking of Business Model for Private Practice in Nigeria”.
The minister said the ministry would also partner with health providers to strengthen the collaborative efforts of medical health practitioners in order to achieve Universal Health Coverage.
The minister said it was worrisome that patients had 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 could renew the trust and confidence of health beneficiaries to stem medical tourism.
The minister advised the medical directors to submit their proposal to his office for prompt attention and possible implementation towards the actualization of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
Speaking earlier, the National President of the Guild, Prof. Olufemi Babalola, said one of the objectives of the guild was to advance the provision of quality health care delivery in private medical clinics and hospitals.
Babalola said that the objective of the guild was also to encourage the business of private health care providers and to create a forum for interactions among professionally qualified medical directors.
He said that the country was facing challenges in delivering affordable and quality health care services to Nigerians, but assured that the meeting would come up with practical solutions to address the challenges.
“At the end of the meeting, we will come up with practical solutions which will be recommended to the Minister of Health for further study and implementation.’’
The president said that many of their clinics were blazing trails in areas of orthopedics, neurosurgery cardiology, ophthalmology and urology, including kidney transplanting, among others.
“Time will come when it will no longer be necessary for Nigerians to travel abroad for advanced health care services,’’ he said.
In addition, Babalola said that private practice needed encouragement from the government which could be done by the creation of enabling environment and exemption from multiple taxations of hospitals and clinics.