By Onyebuchi Ezigbo
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has stated that the federal government is working hard to reposition the healthcare sector to ensure that all Nigerians have access to quality healthcare at affordable rate.
As Nigeria joined the world to commemorate the Universal Health Coverage Day (UHC), Ehanire said the attainment of UHC is a high priority for the government, adding that reforms are already being implemented to make quality services available to more people, with stronger financial risk protection.
The UHC Day is marked annually on December 12. The theme of this year’s UHC Day is ‘Health for all: Protect Everyone’.
Speaking to journalists, the minister said UHC Day draws attention to the urgent priority of providing quality healthcare services for the wellbeing of Nigerian citizens.
In his message to mark the day, Ehanire said: “It is everybody’s right to have access to quality healthcare whenever and everywhere. Any country that wants to have a healthy and viable workforce needs to be able to provide quality healthcare as there is nothing as damaging than an unhealthy population, especially from diseases that can easily be prevented.
He further stated that the Federal Ministry of Health and its agencies were working painstakingly to provide better access to higher quality services, increase community demand and improve health systems resilience towards building the functionality needed to attain UHC.
“It is based on this that the federal government is striving to rehabilitate and revitalise the primary healthcare system as the bedrock of development of the health sector. The newly revised BHCPF guidelines are expected to be used to establish one primary healthcare centre per political ward, where Nigerians will be able to access health services with a reasonable financial implication,” he explained.
In his remarks at the event, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Nigeria Country Representative, Dr. Mulombo, said health is a fundamental human right, and no one should be denied quality health services for financial or other barriers.
He also said Nigerian Government deserves commendation for introducing the Basic Healthcare Provision Funds.
According to him, the country is on track in its attempt to providing access to quality healthcare services for its citizens through primary healthcare revitalisation as well as leveraging on the Basic Health Care Provision Funds (BHCPF).