Experts Discuss Government Regulations, Financing and Universal Healthcare Coverage at 2019 Medic West Africa

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Healthcare leaders from across Africa have highlighted the need to promptly address critical issues such as government regulations, financing, leadership and management strategies in Africa’s healthcare sectors. These issues were brought to the fore at the Leaders in Healthcare Conference held at ongoing Medic West Africa Exhibition and Conferences at Eko Hotels, Lagos.

Under the chairmanship of the Honorable Minister of Health, Federal Republic of Nigeria, the conference which had the theme, “Laying the foundation for the provision of primary healthcare in West Africa”, explored systematic developments in healthcare, globally and nationally, in a bid to enable the successful development of a sustainable healthcare system in West Africa. Key topics addressed include basic healthcare provision fund, universal healthcare coverage, public health preparedness and response, national health insurance and the role of the private and public health sector.

Speaking at the Conference, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Health Lagos, Dr Senator Ibrahim YahyaOloriegbe espoused on government policies as essential to accommodating sustainable healthcare goals in Nigeria. He emphasized that health in Nigeria is ranked at 11 in terms of capital expenditure, and remains a key focus area for the national budget.  He said, “Achieving universal health access is an important deliverable at all levels of government, from the federal to the state and requires human resources within the profession too, from doctors to midwives. We need everyone to participate in pushing the sector forward. The government has shown its commitment through the NHIS to the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund and also the recent partnerships with the private sector to drive growth within the sector and meet current primary healthcare challenges in Nigeria.“

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The Deputy Minister of Health, Ghana, Dr Alex KodwoKomAbban reiterated the value of the private sector in establishing a healthcare system that is advanced and sustainable. In his remark, he said, “The healthcare challenges in Nigeria are no different from the ones that exist in Ghana. Proper collaborations with the private sector from concept to realization in decision-making within the healthcare sector are extremely important. The private sector should not be seen as competitors, but as collaborations who will contribute their own quota towards achieving universal health coverage by 2030.”

The Leaders in Healthcare Conference examined the disparity within the healthcare structures, funding between the primary and secondary healthcare systems in Nigeria. Proper legislative network, distribution of healthcare practices and equipping them to global standards as well as personnel training were some of the ways highlighted in order to strengthen the effectiveness of healthcare systems that would provide outcomes. Among its panellists/speakers on the call for sustainable healthcare in Africa where the National Health Insurance (NHIS), the senate committee on Health, and the World Bank International Finance Corporation.

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Medic West Africa is supported by numerous trade associations as well as government agencies such as the Nigeria Federal Ministry of Health, Healthcare Federation of Nigeria and the Society for Quality in Healthcare in Nigeria. Attendance at Medic West Africa trade exhibition is free for healthcare and trade professionals. For more information, please visit www.medicwestafrica.com

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