As part of efforts to boost healthcare in the country, medical experts have called for a unified healthcare system to enhance the country’s health sector.
Speaking during a symposium on the Post MDGs: Maternal and Child Health in Nigeria, at the Nigeria Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) in Lagos, an Obstetrics and Gynaecologist from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Prof. Oladapo Shittu, said healthcare unitary system will enable medical experts strategise on government policies and ensure that every Nigerian benefit from such policy.
According to him, “most countries around the world have single health system, which is centrally operated at their capital cities. But our healthcare system in Nigeria is a shared responsibility among the federal, state and local governments, which hinders the sole influence of the federal health policies.”
Shittu added that when the federal government makes a decision, there remains no assurance on how it would be implemented at the state level, which leads to fragmentation.
Meanwhile, the DG, Nigeria Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), Prof. Innocent Ujah, said most countries around the world have single health system, which was centrally operated at their capital cities. “But our healthcare system in Nigeria is a shared responsibility among the federal, state and local governments, which hinders the sole influence of the federal health policies.”
He added that a unified health system was what Nigeria should go for. “We have to have a standardisation as this is what happens everywhere. We need to ensure that the federal government makes policies for the state so that they can implement them. And when they implement with same platform then you will be able to compare notes. We need to harness our resources and that will, in fact, decrease cost. Unified health system is what we should go for,” he added.
This is as he decried that the nuisance of Boko Haram insurgency was affecting their research “With Boko Haram insurgency, there is no way you can do any research in atmosphere of threat and intimidation. Otherwise, it will subject our researchers to unnecessary risk,” he added.
Also lending his voice, the Chief Medical Director, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Prof. Chris Bode, said government should improve literacy among women, as this represents a panacea to reduce the appalling rate of maternal deaths in the country.