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Government-private partnership, way out of healthcare problem – Minister

Stakeholders in the health sector have urged collaboration and partnership between the government and private sector as solution to the poor primary healthcare (PHCs) delivery…

Stakeholders in the health sector have urged collaboration and partnership between the government and private sector as solution to the poor primary healthcare (PHCs) delivery in Nigeria.

The Minister of State for Health, Dr Osagie, on Wednesday said such investment and partnership would improve the infrastructure, training and retraining of personnel, electricity, water, ambulance and other amenities needed in the 30,000 PHCs across the country.

Speaking during a health summit organized by Philips Africa in partnership with Forbes, the Minister urged the private sector to also partner with the government on technology so as to ensure 80 percent of Nigerian’s health needs are met through the PHC.

At the summit, Philips, a global innovation company, released findings from a survey which indicated that 65 percent of Nigerians believe improved access to health facilities would make them more effective in managing their health, thus alleviating pressure on the healthcare system.

In a data from over 500 Nigerians interviewed, the result showed that the 49 percent urged the government to deploy an equal proportion of its healthcare budget toward “sick care”, and 48 percent insist the FG should work more on preventive measures.

52 percent said they need more access to information about their health as well as keeping track of health indicators while 48 percent indicated their interest for an improvement in nutrition and fitness. 82 percent believe that the National Health Insurance will have a positive impact on patient outcomes over time.

The Chief Executive Officer of Philips Africa, Jasper Westerink, said, “This study highlights the need for a greater focus on preventive healthcare for a sustainable health system, especially given the prevalence of lifestyle related diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

“With these findings as a guiding light, we are engaging with all relevant stakeholders to drive the debate and ultimately improve the quality and cost effectiveness of healthcare services for future generations. Our summit was borne out of our pledge to impact 3 billion lives by 2025.

"We are an innovation technology company and we have realised that technology alone will not solve the challenges of healthcare in the country. We need to think of how to use technology in the Nigerian health sector as well as how to have a discussion with the stakeholders and the government on improvement of the sector.

“The technology is there but the issue is how to train healthcare professionals to use it. There is a lot of technology now for the health sector, but how can it work in our environment?"

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