Intensify NHIA advocacy, Lagos NMA tasks National Orientation Agency

October 1, 2022
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The Nigeria Medical Association,Lagos Zone has charged the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to scale up advocacy gear towards ensuring further domestication of the National Health Insurance Act (NHIA) in every states of the country.

In his Independence Day celebration message tagged: NIGERIA AT 62: THE STATE OF NIGERIA’S HEALTHCARE SYSTEM AND WAY FORWARD, the Lagos NMA Chairman Dr. Benjamin Oluwatosin Olowojebutu gave the charge citing the positive development witnessed in the health sector in states where the NHIA act had already been domesticated.

“It is expedient for the National Orientation Agency to wake up responsively to its duty and begin to escalate the enlightenment on the new National Health Insurance Act, NHIA in different Nigerian  languages.

“So that access to healthcare becomes the right and opportunities for every citizen in Nigeria.To build a nation where Heathcare for All irrespective of tribe, creed, religious and political affiliation shall reign is possible.

“A critical examination of our current  Healthcare Management system does not make for a pleasant prognosis.

“It is even more worrisome that the present stochastic services have encouraged unprecedented brain drain.

“Many Healthcare Practioners are religiously seeking greener pastures in climes where things work, where they can get better remuneration and fulfil their God-given aspirations.

“We still do not have the healthcare management system of our dreams. Our current system still plagued by strikes, unhealthy professional rivalry, inadequate facilities, poor working conditions and the list goes on.

“We now have opportunity to reverse the prevailing brain drain and improve our healthcare system for the benefit of Nigerians. It is possible and Yes We Can.”

Olowojebutu noted further that there is need for a strategic National Medical Disaster Plan, as much attention need be accorded the mitigation of the spread of communicable diseases in the society.

“In the past, different governments have invested heavily in the management of Communicable diseases.

“ But unfortunately we have had our fair debilitating share of the various complications resulting from the infection of Ebola , Lassa Fever, Covid-19, now Monkey Pox.

“This is a pointer that as a nation we must have a strategic National Medical Disaster Plan that will help us to be more proactive than reactive,” Olowojebutu said.

Addressing issues bothering the Lagos Health care system, the Lagos NMA Chairman touched on how germane it is for the Lagos State Government to immediately put in place Public-Private-Partnership policy (Operate and Manage Model).

He added that that will revitalize and give fillip to all the Primary Healthcare Centers in the Rural Areas of Lagos State.

“To this end, it is our firm belief that our three-pronged focal agenda on The Lagos Doctor, Lagosians and Lagos Healthcare System will move the needle in creating a system that works for everyone.

“The import of this tripartite trajectory is that the welfare of Lagos Doctors would be top notch and reasonably encouraging enough to keep their services, the Lagos people would be the cardinal focus of Lagos Healthcare system, there will be patriotic advocacy for the improvement of Lagos Healthcare System through various Public-Private-Partnership particularly in Semi Urban and Rural Areas.

“This will go a long way in arresting the already decimated systems in these largely forgotten areas of Lagos State

“We would like to state emphatically that we are altruistically ready for any partnership that will positively improve the health status of Nigerians particularly Lagosians.

“We know the most laudable vehicle for attaining the Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria is through the National Health Insurance Act.

“We must commend state that have already domesticated the Act but we want to encourage all other states to join in the domestication of the Act.

“It is also important we also have a strategic Medical Mitigating Blueprint that alleviates the sufferings of our citizens more importantly the aged suffering from non-communicable diseases such as Hypertension and Diabetes.”

Olowojebutu however, encouraged the Lagos State Health Management Authority to intensify more efforts, through deliberate partnerships with relevant stakeholders particularly Non Governmental Organizations, in persuading more Lagosians to enroll in the very laudable Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme (Ilera Eko)

He emphasized that the Health Insurance Scheme has proven to be the surest route, affording access to healthcare facilities and patients management system even in developed nations.

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