Abuja – The Federal Government says it has concluded plans to unveil the National Health Agenda and commission the National Health Gazette to boost the healthcare needs of Nigerians.
Prof. Isaac Adewole, the Minister of Health, disclosed this while fielding questions from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.
Adewole also reiterated government commitment on the implementation
of the National Health Act.
The minister said these instruments had outlined and fashioned the new
focus in the ministry and government resolve to stop medical tourism.
He said the ministry would now focus on maximising optimal use of available resources, the provision of specialised care for our people and changing the direction and destination of medical tourism.
“I believe by the end of our first year, we should be able to reduce medical tourism such that in five years’ time, less than 20 per cent of Nigerians will go abroad for treatment.
“We will make our teaching hospitals work and do Public Private Partnerships (PPP).
“The PPP will focus on derivable benefits of promoting inter and intra professional harmony.
“We (FG) will give Primary Health Care preference as a strategic platform for achieving Universal Health Coverage,’’ he said.
According to him, if the government put its monies in the primary healthcare system, 60 to 70 per cent of the health needs of Nigerians will be taken care of.
He noted that Nigeria cannot achieve Universal Health Coverage without ability to proffer accurate diagnosis.
“Strong laboratory support is quiet crucial, our capacity will go beyond making diagnosis with respect to diseases.
“We will boost the capacity of our health workers to enable them render accurate diagnosis of diseases and sustain the training and retraining of staff.
“We have the mandate to provide leadership in the health sector, when we fully unveil these instruments, it will be obvious to Nigerians that this administration cares,’’ said the minister.
Adewole assured that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari would soon roll out the Universal Health Coverage, but declined to disclose the date for strategic reasons.
He said when the Universal Health Coverage was rolled out many things that scare Nigerians in public health would fizzle out.
“We (government) will have primary health care for wards and part of the human
resources component of primary health care we are building is to have village and community health workers.
“The village and community health workers would visit homes and liaise with head of households and mount massive public education.
“What we need to stay healthy is the massive health education,’’ the minister explained. (NAN)