The coordinating minister of health and social welfare, Muhammad Pate, believes that by working together, Nigerians can achieve a brighter future in healthcare.
Mr Pate said this on Monday in Abuja at the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) forum in Nigeria on the new health sector development blueprint. The forum was an opportunity for civil societies to engage with and understand the health policy priorities and collaboratively develop a position paper and action plan to promote shared ownership of the emerging health policy agenda in the country.
According to the minister, collaboration and teamwork are essential in improving healthcare in the country. He expressed confidence in the power of unity and shared efforts to create a better healthcare system for Nigeria.
Mr Pate noted that the Strategic Blueprint (2023 – 2026) aim for reimagining healthcare service delivery was to save lives, reduce physical and financial pains, and produce health for all Nigerians equitably and irrespective of socio-economic status.
The health minister explained, “The aspirations were determined through far-reaching surveys and exchanges with 2,500 Nigerians across the country, revealing what the people expect from the government in terms of healthcare service and social welfare delivery.
“The pillars of our Blueprint were built on the National Health Act (NHA) 2014 and designed to enhance the delivery of universal health coverage so that everyone should receive the healthcare they need without facing any financial hardships. It is our belief that effective governance is pivotal to an effective, equitable, efficient and well-integrated health system.
“Also, we believe that people, as part of the civil society, should be at the core of the health system, both for quality checks, transparency, and accountability, and importantly in shaping the services that contribute to their well-being.”
He said that collaboration with various stakeholders, including the health sector CSOs, was integral to the process, and their continued support was critical to the successful delivery of set goals. Mr Pate disclosed that the NHA 2014 provided for a national consultative forum for health and the hope that it would be constituted in due course.
“It will provide a viable platform for civil society and citizens to be part of the solutions we seek to provide to our various healthcare service delivery challenges,” said Mr Pate.
He added, “As part of our goals, we are working to review the national basic healthcare package and other policies, including health insurance, to make them socio-economically realistic for today’s Nigeria. This is in addition to other investments to unlock the health sector value chain as well as the initiatives to promote health security for Nigeria.”