Posted by News Express | 13 July 2015 | 2,838 times
A former Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr Leke Pitan at the weekend, urged Federal Government to encourage Nigerians to enrol into the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) for quality healthcare delivery.
Pitan made the plea at a two-day National Executive Council Meeting of the Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN) in Lagos.
''The Federal Government should make health insurance scheme compulsory as less than 10 million Nigerians have keyed into the scheme.
''We need to encourage Nigerians to adopt health insurance.
``Because, it is the best approach to achieving universal health coverage and reduce congestion and pressure at the secondary and tertiary health facilities.
''So, this will enable them to focus on teaching and research to aid preventive and curative medicine,'' he said.
Pitan also called for the democratisation of the nation’s health sector to increase Nigerians access to healthcare delivery.
He said that democratising the sector would make the general practitioners to be major stakeholders in policy making.
According to him, they are usually the most patronised by patients, and 60 per cent of health services were being rendered by the private practitioners.
''We have been suggesting and proposing the way forward in the health sector, since the new administration came in.
``We urge the new government to democratise health and involve private practitioners.
''It should also work out collaboration between the private healthcare providers and the primary healthcare to broaden the base of accessibility to healthcare delivery as well increase facilities for care.
Also speaking, Dr Odebunmi Dominga, the Director-General, Lagos State Safety Commission, urged the new administration to strengthen relationship between the private and public medical practitioners to promote quality patients care.
Dominga also urged the private healthcare providers to ensure international best practices in terms of general handling of medical equipment, reagents and patients to prevent infections.
Also speaking, Mrs Dorcas Shonibare, the Director of Nursing, Lagos State Ministry of Health, said that nurses were vital in medical services.
Shonibare called for regular training of nurses in the private health facilities to enhance quality care and increase patronage.
In his remark, Dr Femi Oligbinle, a former Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Health, stressed the need to shift attention from public healthcare services to empower private healthcare services.
Oligbinle said that private sector provided most of the services and have the capacity to meet the healthcare needs of Nigerians.
He urged the Federal Government to create the infrastructure and enabling environment to encourage the private sector and widen accessibility to healthcare.
Also, Dr Frank Odafen, the National President of AGPMPN, said that private medical practitioners were ready to cooperate with the government at all levels to ensure quality healthcare delivery.
''We are ready to work with the government so that Nigeria can become one of the reference centres for quality healthcare delivery.
''Government should see doctors as partners in progress, set up an intervention fund and review the issue of multiple taxes to ease the financial burden of rendering health services,'' Odafen said. (NAN)
Photo shows: Leke Pitan
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