Ex-Minister Proffers Solutions To Nigeria’s Healthcare Challenges

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A former Minister of Health, Prof. Adenike Grange, has called for political will and commitment towards improving healthcare delivery system in Nigeria.

Grange made the call at the 11th Annual Virtual Conference of the Society for Quality in Healthcare in Nigeria (SQHN), in Lagos themed: “The Future of Healthcare in Nigeria.”

The 2021 SQHN conference was aimed at highlighting existing challenges within the health sector and proffer solutions for improvement.

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Grange emphasised the need for prioritisation of the healthcare system by policy makers in the country.

She said it had became necessary for the government to increase its allocation, investments in and funding of the health sector.

The ex-minister said this was in view of the huge treatment gap and lapses in the sector as exposed by the outbreak of COVID-19.

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According to her, the government needs to display its commitment by enacting and enforcing policies that will enhance healthcare service delivery in Nigeria.

“The budgetary allocation to major sectors like health and education needs to be reviewed upward.

“No nation can survive without adequate funding of its education and health sector and as the wise saying goes; health is wealth,” she said.

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Prof. Joseph Ana, Lead Senior Fellow, African Centre for Clinical Research and Patient Safety, highlighted in his presentation the need to focus on the patients’ safety, support of the healthcare workers and elevation of the healthcare system.

Ana, also the Keynote Speaker at the conference, called for national implementation of the 12 Pillars of Clinical Governance.

This, he said, promotes patient and family involvement in care, clinical audits, systematic quality programmes and accreditation among others as solutions to address national healthcare problems.

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He recommended visionary leadership, patient-centered care, a motivated workforce among others for organisations willing to start off quality improvement.

Ana emphasised the importance of measurement, using data and key performance indicators, to drive improvement.

“Scaling quality improvement and clinical governance efforts would require impacting cultural rules, laws and policies as well as replication of knowledge among the key stakeholders.

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“Digital health approaches such as telemedicine, use of electronic medical records, inventory management systems are vital for quality improvement but the focus must always be on the needs of the patients and how they will benefit,” he said.

Earlier, the President of SQHN, Dr Wole Abiodun-Wright, in his opening remarks, spoke on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria and globally.

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He said that the Society adapted by converting most of her programmes and services from physical to virtual mode of delivery.

Abiodun-Wright also highlighted the effort that the Society had made to develop health facility standards approved by the International Society for Quality in Healthcare in 2020.

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