The Guild of Medical Directors (GMD) is set to partner with the Federal Government to tackle the issue of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in the country.
The partnership, according to the National President of the GMD, Professor Olufemi Babalola, is to ensure a progressive expansion of coverage of health services and financial protection as more resources become available.
“Universal health coverage ensures that individuals and communities receive the health services they need without suffering severe and crippling financial hardship,” he said.
Prof. Babalola pointed out that achieving universal health coverage is a critical goal that most African countries are striving to achieve.
He admitted that plausible strides have been made in some cases but a number of challenges still need to be addressed.
To perfect this process, the National President of the GMD, said a platform for robust discussion by all stakeholders, healthcare buyers and beneficiaries of medical health schemes, on how to achieve the UHC would be created as GMD holds its 25th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference in Abuja Thursday to Friday this week.
“The 25th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the GMD will come up in Abuja this year. The event slated for the 25 and 26th October would discuss widely and proffer solutions as private medical practitioners lead the vanguard,” Prof. Babalola said.
He added: “The pivotal role of the GMD in delivery of over 70 per cent of health care in Nigeria places it in a strong position to assist Nigerians access health at their doorstep.’’
He further pointed out that there is a private hospital in most parts and even in the remotest parts of Nigeria; such that the GMD supporting the government, can reduce the poor health indices of Nigerians.
He also stated that by working with the GMD, the government can almost overnight expand the capacity in managing Nigerians close to where they live.
Prof. Babalola stated that the GMD, which is a body of the Chief Medical Directors of some of the most active practices in Nigeria has always been concerned that the critical role of the private practitioners has not been fully tapped to improve the health delivery through the National Health Insurance Scheme.
According to him, the conference, holding at the Shehu Musa Yarádua Conference centre, promises to be a platform of providing adequate information to participants to protect the interest of both healthcare buyers and beneficiaries of medical health schemes.