Private sector engagement critical to universal health coverage – Expert

health coverage

Engaging the private sector in primary health care delivery to achieve universal health coverage in Nigeria is crucial, the Director of Programmes, Nigeria Health Watch, Vivianne Ihekweazu, has said.

Addressing a news conference ahead of its forthcoming 2019 future of health conference and stakeholders summit coming up on October 17 -18 in Abuja, Ihekweazu, disclosed that the private and public sector engagement would not only stimulate innovations, but will improve the quality of care Nigerians have access to.

She said that the private sector has over the years enabled better health services for communities and individuals through provision of services ranging from hospitals, clinics and laboratories to drugs, vaccines and diagnostics to ancillary services like ambulances and insurance amongst others.

‘’We believe that there needs to be greater efforts to improve quality in healthcare in order to increase confidence in the healthcare sector. For us, ‘if it is not quality, it is not health.

‘’The summit is an attempt to develop strong relationships with key stakeholders to advance quality maternal care in Nigeria as well as to generate recommendations for creating an enabling environment to improve quality maternity in Nigeria,’’ she said.

On his part, Curator, Nigeria Health Watch, Dr. Ike Anya, lamented that the healthcare service delivery in Nigeria has failed to yield the desired results over the years.

‘’Our health system is not yielding the improvements in our health indices, our improvements in patients outcomes as expected in Nigeria, so it is imperative to consider the standard of healthcare being received.

‘’Quality healthcare should minimize risk and harm to patients while providing effective services using evidence- based- guidelines. Quality healthcare should reduce the delays clients face in receiving care and maximize resources to avoid wastage.

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‘’Discussions at the 2019 future of health conference will explore the dimensions of quality healthcare, in addition to looking at service delivery and ways to integrate quality at all levels of healthcare delivery in Nigeria,’’ he added.

The theme for the conference is: “Time to focus on quality in healthcare: improving outcomes.’’

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Ihesiulo Grace

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