By Ummul Idris
Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari has tasked Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) to seek better ways of improving healthcare service delivery to Nigerians.
He gave the task at the second National Health Summit (NHS) and the 25th Commonwealth Medical Association Triennial Conference on Tuesday in Abuja.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the conference is “Patient Centered Care (PCC) “.
Represented by the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Enahire, the President said “patients are at the centre of healthcare service delivery and must be accorded confidentiality and due respect.
“A patient should have information and be kept updated of possible complications regarding his or her sickness.
“A patient’s privacy and confidentiality must never be compromised; he or she deserves clean environment.”
He said that the lack of medical equipment, poor environment and the lack of confidentiality were capable of damaging the health system, noting that mindset could be used to fix the system, not necessarily money.
He added that “Federal Government would like to open conversation with nurses and doctors; we need to strengthen our human resources.
“Efforts are ongoing to restrict the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and work with state governments to enrol more people in rural areas.
“Also, the Federal Government would want to see an end to industrial disharmony in healthcare institutions, which usually affect patients.
“Nigerian health human resources is reducing as some trained personnel are lost by migration to already developed economies; we will welcome suggestions from this summit to checkmate this trend.
“We shall support all efforts on the health indices of the country. Medical personnel should also take care of their health because it is a healthy professional that can provide healthcare services to patients.”
Former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (Rtd), the Chairman of the occasion, said he was happy that NMA had taken upon itself the responsibility of mobilising human resources that would add to the policy thrust of government.
Gowon said that one of the areas of concern during the first edition of the NHS in Asaba in 2013 was the NHIS, noting that “it is my hope that this summit will come up with ideas that government will accept and implement to improve the quality of healthcare in the country.
“Nigeria is losing millions of naira to medical tourism. I hope this can be curbed.”
Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State, also the Chief co-host, said the summit was an opportunity to shape the healthcare section of the country.
According to him, the theme of the summit signifies that healthcare providers also recognise the patients in the process of providing healthcare services.
He said “be rest assured that government would provide health and education to all; we would continue to support the efforts of NMA.”
Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, said “Patient Centered Care Model promotes flexibility and partnership in healthcare of families.
“PCC model is a voice to the patients, which must be guided by principle. It is to enhance treatment plans; a multi-dimensional approach in achieving quality healthcare service delivery.”
The NMA President, Dr Francis Faduyile, said “PCC is all about putting the individual patients first in all considerations regarding care.
“The time has come for us to jettison the traditional care pattern where in most settings the patients contribute minimally to decisions about his or her care in its entirety.
“It is important to open communication channels to both the patients and their relations. We must strengthen physician-patient communication.
“Governments at all levels should partner with NMA and other stakeholders to ensure that key recommendations from this gathering form significant part of Nigerian Health Policy.”