Nigeria’s Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Ali Pate, has said the four-point agenda which he had earlier outlined on Sunday will help reduce the physical and financial cost of ill-health on Nigerians.
The four-point agenda includes: improvement in healthcare deliverables for Nigerians, improvement of population health outcomes, medical industrialization which was the value-chain of the sector and health security.
Pate, in an interview with ARISE NEWS on Monday, said the agenda will also reduce to the barest minimum or totally eradicate the inequality gap by making sure everybody experiences quality healthcare.
He said “Health is at the center of the efforts to build our human capital and for us in the health sector, what we have outlined is to derived from the vision of the president to ensure that we save lives, reduce pain, both physical and financial cost of ill health and then we produce health for Nigerians by preventing the diseases that can be prevented and also reducing the burden of things like non communicable diseases that are becoming a major issue in our country today.
“A healthy population will harness the potential of our youthful population. We are young as a nation and at the same time and at the same time, we are also aging. So, both sides of the demographic picture require good health to contribute in the economic development of our country and to actualize the prosperity that this country can actually enjoy in the period ahead, with everybody carried along, so that the inequality that exists where the haves and have nots are reduced to a minimum.
“We also want to ensure that we execute, talk less and deliver, have good information and a strong regulatory entity that are not predatory on the private sector but protect the lives and wellbeing of our population
“On the governance side and how we will run our hospitals, on the state, local and federal level, we will set direction, activate leaders at all levels, the CMDs of the federal teaching hospitals have to be activated in a way that the quality of service that is being delivered, the infrastructure investments they will make will transform how our people will experience the health system
“On the state government level, primary healthcare, as the foundation of our national health system, has to function, with the community health workers and other professionals working together to deliver the basic services and higher-level services as appropriate for our population.”
Still speaking on the workability of the four-point agenda, Pate said there is need to work with the private sectors in order to improve the policy environment.
He said “To drive the economic development agenda, it requires a cross ministerial approach which the president is really engaged in, as well as the private sector, manufacturer association of Nigeria, as well as a pharmaceutical group and other actors in the private sector to improve the policy environment so that it is conducive then we can harness the demand in our sector, also, the physical policy, so that the tariffs and other measures can be put in place in order to improve the environment for our domestic environment.”
He also emphasized the need to improve on the capability of regulatory bodies like NAFDAC to ensure that the commodities being imported into the country, through various means are minimized and their distributions curtailed in order for the Nigerian industries to have a chance to produce and compete favorably in the markets.