The importance of good healthcare delivery cannot be overemphasized in any community.
In order to improve healthcare delivery in Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Health has made known its plans to work with the private sector in establishing “Bank of Health’’.
This information was disclosed by the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, at a news conference in Lagos to mark his one year in office.
He also said that the ministry would work with the private sector to publish a directory of health facilities in the country.
According to him:
“We have decided to work with the private sector in the coming year because they have the discipline, resources and efficiency to drive the sector.”
“We want to establish a Bank of Health similar to Bank of Industry and Bank of Agricultural, so that those who want to set up health facilities can have access to resources.”
This he said, should reduce the high level of medical tourism practiced by Nigerians.
“We believe that the one million dollars that is estimated to leave Nigeria due to medical tourism will be trapped here. Those who go to India, Europe, even Ghana and Benin Republic, will have no reason to leave the country for medical care,” he said.
As touching the directory of health facilities in the country, Prof. Adewole said that a technical working group had been set up in collaboration with the private sector to publish health facilities directory and their services which will help Nigerians make informed choices and know where to go.
He also stated that the ministry would also embark on the revitalization of seven teaching hospitals in 2017, adding that other hospitals will be done in phases.
“We cannot rehabilitate all the teaching hospitals in 2017; we will do it in phases. We are hoping to do seven with two cancer machines next year and then we scale up further,” he said.
He also talked about liver cancer, which is the commonest in Nigeria, He said that the ministry would be working with International Agency for Research and Cancer (IARC) to reduce the burden.
He also emphasized the commitment of the ministry to new changes and better progress in the Nigerian health sector.
He said, “The agency is developing a new initiative to store groundnut properly because there is a link between Aflatoxin in groundnut and liver cancer. With that initiative, we are going to reduce liver cancer in Nigeria.”
He indulged the help of the media to help get feedback and criticisms and also restore the confidence of Nigerians in the health sector.