The need for stakeholders in the healthcare sector of Nigeria’s South West to jointly address the challenges facing the sector has been re-emphasised.
The reforms bothering on Human resource management, preparedness for an epidemic outbreak, putting in place a proper governance structure in the health system, improvement and access to healthcare facilities as well as government accountability must be implemented for better results.
This was the crux of the communique released after a two day high level roundtable agenda-setting meeting attended by Executive Secretaries, CMDs, Permanent Secretaries, and Directors for Public Health Services in the Southwest region’s healthcare sector, held in Osogbo, capital of the State of Osun.
The meeting at the instance of BudgIT, with support from the Skoll Foundation, is part of its Southwest #SaveOneSaveAllcampaign to further set the agenda for the healthcare sector in Nigeria to initiate better healthcare accessibility, accountability, and service delivery.
Some of the recommendations as contained in the communique endorsed by all levels of stakeholders are: “Adequately recruit skilled health personnel, invest in training and supporting recruited medical staff across the board for an increase in efficiency and professional practice. Improve the welfare packages and incentives for health workers, such as sponsorship for trainings and workshops, mortgages on new houses and cars.
“Engage in regular (quarterly or biannually) audits of facilities for epidemic preparedness (infrastructure, trained personnel, equipment, and disease surveillance). Develop and implement a policy document on the minimum staff required to work at each level of the health sector institutions and design a holistic framework for healthcare assessment, implementing a strict accreditation system for health institutions.
“The Ministry of Health should formulate policies for departments and agencies. However, operational autonomy should be given to departments and agencies without prejudice to the regulatory role of the Ministry of Health. Coordinate the activities international donor partners to meet the state objectives and encourage international organizations to serve as watchdogs.
“Ensure that at each political ward, there should be at least a functional Level 3 Centre to respond to any health challenge of the citizens and establishment of an accountability forum that is community-led. Provide a conducive work environment, adequate security to discourage healthcare workers from migrating to other countries, and insurance systems to drive service delivery to reduce out-of-pocket Health expenditure.
“Establish SERVICOM for feedback on client satisfaction and use the opportunity of BHCPF, state equity funds, to upgrade the PHC in the area of personnel, infrastructure, equipment, and supply,” the communique read in part.