For every Nigerian to enjoy optimal healthcare delivery, health practitioners in Nigeria have tasked the newly appointed Coordinating Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate on the full implementation of the National Healthcare Insurance Authority (NHIA) Act 2022.
The NHIA Act 2022 provides citizens with access to affordable quality healthcare regardless of their economic status, whether in the formal or informal sector of the economy.
The leadership of the Healthcare Providers Association of Nigeria (HCPAN) and Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) in separate interviews congratulated Prof, Pate on his new appointment as the leader of the health sector for the next four years, as they counselled him on addressing burning issues in the sector urgently.
Top among the issues identified for immediate attention were, the full implementation of the health insurance Act 2020, tackling of the deplorable state of healthcare in the country, adoption of multidisciplinary approach in coordination the sector, seeking harmony in the sector, collaboration among practitioners, brain drain, and others.
In an exclusive interview with the Chairman, HCPAN, Lagos State Chapter, Pharm.(Dr) Abiola Paul-Ozieh, described Pate’s appointment as a timely one, as he is faced with the responsibility of putting his wealth of experience to work in resuscitating the ailing health sector.
“I would say Prof. Pate has come at such a crucial point in the healthcare delivery system and for me, this is an area he should prove his worth. He must be ready to work out the NHIA Act May 2022, because the implementation of the NHIA Act is sacrosanct to the delivery of optimal health services in Nigeria.
“He should be ready to co-ordinate all the health professionals to achieve unity of purpose towards Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria.
“Now our minister needs to fashion out what Nigeria will need to do to stop brain drain in the healthcare sector as fast as possible”, Paul-Ozieh stated.
Also speaking with the PSN Chairman, Lagos State Chapter, Pharm. Babayemi Oyekunle, he harped on the need for collaboration in the sector, noting that previous leadership of the health sector by medical doctors has not really been favourable to the system with poor performance indices.
While Oyekunle was indifferent to the previous performance of Dr Pate on the global scene, he challenged him to prove him wrong by restoring harmony and sanity to the system.
According to him “It is only in Nigeria that government holds the view that only a medical doctor can act or fill the post of Minister of Health. And this is very unfortunate, as the indices and performance from those professionals have really not helped our healthcare delivery in Nigeria, rather our healthcare is retrogressing.
“May God help us. We’ll try to work with him but collaboration with the medics has really not worked out.
“I hope this minister will prove me wrong”.
Paul-Ozieh, in her contribution also charged Pate to wear the cap of an administrator with the knowledge of what happens in other nations of the world, urging him to adopt a multidisciplinary approach in coordinating the system.
She said “Healthcare system is a multidisciplinary system and must be administered as such- no favourites, no winners take all approach and no vanquished. The focus must be on positive health outcomes translating to encouraging health indices”.
The HCPAN leader further advised the health minister to embark on an holistic appraisal of the status of the Federal Ministry of Health status, while he deploys effective strategies and collaboration in fixing the wobbling system.