Expert seeks collaboration on health coverage

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Lagos  –  A family physician, Dr Gbenga Dade-Matthews, on Wednesday called for collaboration of government at all levels and medical bodies to achieve universal health coverage for Nigerians.

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Dade-Matthews, who is also the president, Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, spoke in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

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He said that this would go a long way in improving the effectiveness and efficiency of healthcare delivery.

“Right now, Lagos State Government is at an advanced stage of working out modalities and a public health insurance, particularly in the public health facilities, is to cater for different cadres of the citizenry.

“It will require ARD and other parent bodies including Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) in active collaboration with the state Ministry of Health to achieve this.

“This will go a long way to achieving a greater and wider coverage of provision of qualitative, affordable and effective healthcare for the people,“ Dade-Matthews said.

He said that there was need to put various structures in place to ensure efficiency in the health system.

According to him, the key structure that should be put in place is the health insurance scheme.

“Healthcare cannot be cheap and it is difficult in this present day.

“The only mechanism by which this can be achieved is by using a pool of funds to provide a managed healthcare for the populace.

“Other structures will include a system of measuring outcomes in terms of morbidity and mortality rates, disease patterns across the various specialties of medicine and cadres of health institutions.

“If we have all these statistics and facts, it will help us to rate our health institutions and as this is being done in the public settings, it will spill over into the private healthcare settings.

“ If there is a spill over, then, we will have a scale up and improvement in the standard of healthcare in the country,“ Dade-Matthews said. (NAN)

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