By ABUJAH RACHEAL
ABUJA- The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has urged Nigerians to vote wisely and for progress, on election day.
Ehanire said this on Friday in Abuja at the Healthcare Transformation coalition (HTC) Symposium with the theme Repositioning The Healthcare Sector: Creating the Pathway to an Effective Health System.
The minister said it was time again in the political cycle of nations when citizens were called upon to elect their leaders and representatives for the next four years.
“Our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), has fairly and squarely chosen standard bearers for the upcoming election, in primaries that brought Bola Ahmed Tinubu and running mate Shetima to the fore.
He said the candidates were high profile politicians with cognate experience in governance and leadership.
“With the great respect we have for our party and the people’s choices and wishes, we must throw our weight behind our candidates, who emerged from a transparent and democratic primary process.
“But that phase was only the preamble to the actual election battle we faced against formidable opponents and for which we are called upon to join hands in reaching out to convince voters that APC and the illustrious candidates are the right choices for them to make,” he said.
According to him, “It is our responsibility as members and leaders of thought of the party, to design and present to the public, the agenda we have crafted for them, which they can trust our candidates to faithfully execute and build upon”.
He said that the great benefits of voting APC were a firm assurance of continuity of programmes, with no hiccups, so that the country would not be taken backwards to begin all over again.
“The other advantage is that our country will be in the most assured of hands among all contestants.
“The APC administration agenda is what we will be dwelling on in today’s symposium.
“We know healthcare as the cornerstone of Human Capital Development; it is, therefore, fit and proper to devote this prime time to it,” he explained.
Ehanire said that the laudable initiative addressed a work in progress, underpinned by the ongoing Health Sector Reform of the current administration, with a mission to build a resilient and sustainable health system.
He said that the objective was first of all, Universal Health Coverage that would provide geographic and financial access to healthcare for 95 per cent or more residents of Nigeria and offer a basic minimum package of health services to citizens, even in remote and rural areas, without suffering financial hardship.
He said that the second was a commitment to continuous improvement of the quality of healthcare offered at all levels and the third was the creation of a robust and sustainable health
Mrs Chika Offor, Chairperson, Health Sector Reform Coalition, said that budgeting for health was beyond allocation, stating that the next regime must ensure better implementation, utilisation of funds and evaluation to achieve a vibrant sector.
Offor said that funding is a very critical part of reforming the nation’s healthcare system.
According to her, to improve the primary care system, there is a need to develop and implement systems that will enable the private sector to join the reform agenda.
She said that any major challenge bedevilling the health system is the fact that there is a trust deficit and that should be resolved to enhance the rapid reformation of the healthcare sector in the country.
Dr Bulama Garuba, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, (NPHCDA), Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, highlighted that health was created at home and the hospital did the repairs.
Garuba said that the agency had five principles of primary health care – accessibility, public participation, health promotion, appropriate skills and technology – and intersectoral cooperation.
He said that the goal of nursing practice was to improve the health of clients.
Meanwhile, the host, Dr Jide Idris, also the immediate past Commissioner for Health, Lagos State, said that HTC canvassed for the APC flag bearer Mr Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to harmonise sustainable change in the various aspects of the Nigerian healthcare system in the country.
“We’re at a point where the 21st century style of leadership is aptly needed to drive sustainable and unconventional change in the Nigerian healthcare system in terms of policy making, implementation, and sustainability,” he said.
Idris said that it was important that the reins of leadership fell into the most competent hands evidenced by proven track records. (NAN)