In an effort to revamp the country’s health care delivery, the Federal Ministry of Health said it has recruited no fewer than 10, 000 health workers and distributed same to the hard-hit parts of the country to boost health care in such areas.
The Minister of State for Health, Dr. Mohammed Ali-Pate, who was represented by his Senior Adviser, Dr. KelechiOhiri, disclosed this at the Fourth Annual Society for Quality in Health Care in Nigeria (SQHN) conference, held in Lagos recently.
The minister said the newly recruited health workers included: nurses, mid-wives, pharmacists, laboratory scientists and others whose services are relevant to health care delivery.
The minister said if most services Nigerians travel abroad to seek are available in the country today, and anyone decides to go abroad, it is by choice and anybody has the right to seek medical service anywhere without hindrance.
He said:“when we talk about health care delivery, people should stop looking at the structure, such as the building. Health care has to do with the personnel and the equipment present in a hospital and most of the government hospitals in the country today are being adequately equipped to provide the necessary health services.”
He said the government has also strived to ensure that clinical services in most of the government hospitals have been improved to the extent that patients now have greater confidence in the kind of service they receive at the hospitals.
According to him, the patients’ experience, in the hospitals are better than what it used to be, because patient/nurses relationship has improved with adequate orientation on how health workers should relate to their patients.
He noted that the government is striving to ensure that quality health care is being provided from the grassroots to the tertiary health care, where patients would have confidence in the quality of health they receive from the primary through secondary to the tertiary health institution, while also assuring that the best emergency care would always be provided.
For the ministry to achieve the ‘’Safe One million Lives’’ initiative it embarked upon, the minister said the initiative is already achieving progress as over 425 lives have already been saved, with strong support from external donor agency.
To achieve the initiative, he revealed that immunisation has a very important role to play, where all eligible children in Nigeria are administered with all the routine vaccination for various communicable diseases afflicting the children.
Also to achieve the objective, the ministry is working with different organisations particularly in the private sector as the government could not do it alone, and added that the government is developing superb data base that would enable information to flow unhindered.
Chairman of SQHN, Prof. Ade Elebute in his address, expressed concern that a committee was set up by the ministry headed by him to create standards in Nigerian hospitals some years back, but the report of the committee did not see the light of day because some government hospitals also have the same problem affecting most of the private hospitals.