Ekiti State Governor, Biodun Oyebanji, and the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate, have called for improvement on healthcare system in Nigeria.
They made the call at the 64th National Council on Health, with the theme, ‘Building Resilient and Inclusive Healthcare Systems for a Healthy Nigeria’, identifying need to transform the future of the healthcare system in the country.
Oyebanji, while declaring the meeting open in AdoEkiti, the state capital, expressed his administration’s commitment to continue to collaborate on initiatives that leverage digital solutions for the improvement of the health sector by applying technology to boost and reposition health information systems and streamline processes to achieve desired results.
He noted that his administration has showed significant commitment to improving the health status of the masses through a holistic approach to health systems development, emphasizing on bolstering the primary healthcare system as a way of promoting universal health coverage.
The Governor noted that his administration has invested significantly in the health sector, including in infrastructural upgrades, improved welfare packages for health workers and the availability of quality drugs.
“Today, in Ekiti, everyone can access a comprehensive package of primary care interventions such as family planning, ante-natal care, delivery, post-natal care, under-5 illnesses, and malaria treatment for all,” the governor asserted.
Speaking, Minister of Health Prof. Muhammad Pate, noted that the National Council on Health has become a veritable platform over time where members and stakeholders meet and interact to consider, deliberate, and chart ways forward on health issues of national importance.
He said that the theme and the sub-themes were carefully chosen to realise the priorities of the sector and encourage stakeholders to take stock of the journey so far and ultimately achieve a system where everyone has access to needed health services without confronting financial constraints.
Prof. Pate charged government with the need to be transparent, accountable, and responsive to the healthcare needs of its citizens, creating and enforcing policies that prioritise the health and well-being of the people.
He stated further that government must also establish a regulatory framework that quarantees the highest quality standards in healthcare and safeguards against corruption.
In his keynote address,
World Bank Country Director Chubam Chundri, in his keynote address, called on Federal Government to make deliberate efforts to reflect key pillars of health systems, including primary healthcare, by improving the resources allocated to the sector.
Chundri, who recommended an urgent shift towards promoting the health and well-being of Nigerians, decried the country’s low investment in health, which had turned Nigeria into the country with the least-funded health system in the world.
He explained the need for the country to raise more revenue through an increase in excise taxes in the drive to adequately fund for the health sector to a more acceptable standard.
Dignitaries in attendance include health workers, policymakers, and stakeholders comprising the Minister of Health, Commissioners for Health, and officials from the 36 states of the federation, including the Secretary of Health and Federal Capital Territory, as well as representatives of development agencies such as UNICEF, WHO, and USAID, among others.