Dr Garba Bulama of the Department of Planning Research and Statistics, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), says good governance will solve 80 percent of the country’s health care delivery challenges.
“If governance is fixed in the health sector in the country, there would be 80 per cent success in the sector,” he said at the ongoing annual National Health Dialogue in Abuja.
The dialogue was organized by Premium Times, an online newspaper, Project for Advocacy in Child and Family Health, Project Pink Blue and the Nigerian Governor’s Forum.
The two-day event has as its theme ‘Universal Health Coverage: The role of State and Non-State Actors in Healthcare funding.’
Bulama noted that everything in the health sector revolves around governance, stating that once governance is fixed, the nation’s problems in the sector will almost be over.
He explained that the Primary Health Care policy was adopted to reduce bottlenecks in service delivery and called on states to key into the health care under one roof initiative to minimize duplication and enhance access to health services.
“But for shortfalls in implementation and execution, there was no shortage of ideas when the policy was approved by the National Council on Health in 2011 and later backed by the National Health Act, 2014,” he said.
Also speaking, Mohammed Ube, who represented the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), said studies by the institute had identified inadequate funding, shortage of health facilities and and professionals as major challenges in the country’s health system.
He also said there was no accurate data and statistics of the country’s population, health indices and health facilities.
Ube however said the institute was looking at the challenges from three different dimensions – who was to be covered, how to finance Universal Health Coverage and how to implement it.
He noted that while Federal Government is confronted with so many demands other than health, there was no clear constitutional provision on specific roles of different actors.
He added that states and federal actors were also not working in synergy in attaining universal health coverage.
The dialogue brought together stakeholders in health and development sectors to discuss the challenges and prospects of UHC in Nigeria.
The participants are expected to come up with actionable strategies for sustainable health care financing in the country.