The increasing number of untimely and avoidable deaths has finally reached the heart of the Federal Government as it is set to reposition the health sector in order to deliver a better health care service. The federal government has thus concluded plans to digitise operations and roll out a national electronic medical record platform to engender reliable data, to render effective services to the people.
Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Muhammed Ali Pate, addressed a conference in Abuja and promised that the government will mobilise private capital to help develop physical infrastructure, equipment and increase human resources with a view to restoring confidence in the healthcare system and discourage Nigerians from seeking medical treatment abroad.
His words: “We need to ensure that our hospitals function better so that our people will have confidence in our health system. We need to address the problem of the healthcare workforce. We will transform our human resources. We will grow the pipeline of medical workers in the country, and retain existing talents to limit the effects of emigration.”
Addressing the issue of strike actions in the sector, the minister said he, along with the Minister of State and permanent secretary in the ministry, had met with four of the professional associations to review pressing issues and rebuild trust in the profession.
Despite having over 400,000 health workers in the country, the minister admitted that the nation’s doctor ratio to population falls below the World Health Organisation (WHO) benchmark; hence the need to train more professionals.
Pate pledged that the government will strengthen health security to effectively tackle future outbreaks, and he reminded state governments of their critical role in advancing the sector.
“We need to improve the quality of governance in health so that there will be a way to appraise performance, reduce political interference and strengthen inclusion. Health can be a basis for reunifying this country,” he added.
The Minister of State for Health, Tunji Alausa, earlier spoke about the need to overhaul research centres nationwide, and concluded by pointing out that the rising cases of communicable diseases in the nation calls for such concern.