NMA wants Nigeria to desist from traditional healthcare system

Gloria Essien, Abuja

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The Nigeria Medical Association says Nigeria’s ability to rapidly improve her healthcare system and health outcomes still depends on the extent to which a greater percentage of the people have access to healthcare without recourse to out-of-pocket expenses.

This was contained in a communique issued at the end of the 2nd Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) National Health Summit and the 25th Commonwealth Medical Association (CMA) Triennial Conference which held in Abuja.

The president of the Nigeria Medical Association, Dr. Francis Faduyile while presenting the communique, said that the Summit observed the abysmal coverage of NHIS in the country but applauded efforts by some States in rolling out contributory health scheme.

He said the Summit also noted that Primary Health Care remains the bedrock for the achievement of Universal Health Coverage, and there exist close link between Primary Health Care and Patient Centered Care.

The president said that the Summit acknowledged the strategic importance of sustainable funding for a robust healthcare delivery, and decried the persistently poor performance of the NHIS, poor budgetary allocation to the health sector and lack of transparency in the disbursement and utilization of funds including the 1% Consolidated Revenue Fund.

The Summit condemned the continued failure of Governments to end or significantly reduce the increasing trend in medical tourism in the country.

On the issue of brain drain, ” the Summit noted with great displeasure the rate of emigration of healthcare professionals including medical and dental practitioners, not only to developed countries but to African countries.

Resolutions

The summit amongst other resolutions urged all stakeholders in the health sector especially, healthcare professionals to jettison the ‘Traditional Care Pattern’ and imbibe Patient Centered approach to care that bring to fore the contributions of patients and their relations in all aspect of care with desirable outcomes.

It reiterated the significance of team work, as the success of Patient Centered Care largely depends on complete unbiased information sharing in timely fashions, clear definition of roles, commitment to stated goals and mutual respect.

It also implored the Governments to revamp the Primary Health Care system.

The Summit implored Government at all levels to provide enabling environment and right policies leading to reversal of medical tourism.

The theme of the Summit was “Patient- Centered Care.