The United States Agency for International Development and stakeholders in the health sector have listed three key priority areas to work on for improved health care in the country.
The Chief of Party, USAID Integrated Health Programme, Marta Levitt on Tuesday urged the Bola Tinubu-led government to prioritize and invest in health insurance, family planning and nutrition to take the health sector to the desired levels where every citizen can easily access health care services at any time.
She noted that if government make these investments, there would be immediate impact on the sector which is presently bedeviled with many challenges including high out-of-pocket expenditures, and poor access to even basic health care services.
Speaking at a health seminar titled: “Implication of Changes in Government on Public Health Policies and Programmes in Nigeria,” organised to mark the 5th Anniversary of Sydani Group in Abuja, she said: “With the new administration, the potentials are endless, we need to hit while the iron is hot, make sure health is at the foremost. Invest in financial risk protection scheme. Health insurance scheme for Universal Health Coverage. The most important thing is for the administration to invest in health insurance to ensure that citizens are fully covered; and make sure that health insurance scheme is easily accessible.
“The second is family planning. The last is nutrition.”
Also speaking at the workshop, the EkitI State Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr. Oyebanji Filani said in order to stop the issue of policy summersault there are strategies put in place to arrest this.
Filani, who is also the Chairman of the Furum of Commissioners for Health said the Forum is working closely with government at the federal level to address the challenges in the health sector.
He said: “We meet more closely, we look at each other and we address issues to accelerate performance at state level and we engage with our colleagues at the centre, with minister and heads of agencies.”