ANAMBRA 2021: Governorship Hopeful Dr Ifedi Okwenna Rolls Out Healthcare Policy.
The healthcare system in Nigeria has greatly been neglected by our various levels of government. This has resulted in inadequate health facilities and structures, poor management of human resources, poor motivation and remuneration, inequitable and unsustainable health care financing, systemic corruption, massive medical tourism out of Nigeria etc. The outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic may have exposed how unserious we are on issue of healthcare delivery, but its also a wake-up call for all. In Anambra state, a number of efforts were made by the Peter Obi-led administration to rehabilitate, build and equip health infrastructure facilities in the state. Private citizens are also coming up to develop and manage healthcare facilities in the state. We shall build on these successes, to ensure our people have access to promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative health services they daily desire.
As government, we shall pursue: Massive provision of healthcare facilities and sustainable rehabilitation and equipping of existing ones. Ensure equity in access to heath services by the citizens; Improvement in the quality of healthcare delivery; and Protection of our people against financial risk, ensuring that the cost of using services does not weigh heavily on our citizens. Emphasis will be on developing a well-funded healthcare plan that will make money available for funding our health programmes. This is to address:
The high level of private, out-of-pocket (OOP) household spending that currently form more than 3/4 of our health expenditures;
Provide access to health services for the poor and vulnerable;
Ensure effective allocation of resources and their efficient use in the system; and address the low level of salaries and incentives for staff. We shall advance Heath Equity Funding (HEF), Community-based Health Insurance Scheme (CBHI) and other Social Health Insurance schemes. It shall be mandatory for every person or family in Anambra state to have an approved health insurance cover to ensure all round access to medical treatment without funding inhibitions. Government, institutions and wealthy individuals shall collaborate to provide reasonable subsidy to ensure full health insurance coverage.
The issue of health emergencies and delays in healthcare seeking contribute to substantial increase in morbidity and mortality of patients. Several studies in both developed and developing countries indicate that delayed care is associated with worse health outcomes and higher costs. It also show that for developing countries non-proximity, ill- equipped medical facilities and non-access to insurance, increase delays.
As government, we shall in addition to insurance interventions and equipping of our medical facilities, introduce Anambra State Emergency Health Scheme. This will provide accessible healthcare services to citizens who needs it at every hour of the day. The scheme will be established in each local government providing:
a. Well-equipped ambulance services.
b. Each functional Ambulance is to be attached with a medical doctor, a nurse and a driver.
These medics in the scheme shall provide healthcare services day and night on shift, in all parts of the state. The ambulances shall be automated and on receipt of panic call, the nearest team to the source of call, rushes to the location to provide emergency treatment to the patient. Where the need arises or as a result of complications, shall convey the patient to the nearest secondary or tertiary hospital. This will work effectively with the approved health insurance cover of the patient.
We shall also in partnership with the Private Healthcare Industry, incentivize Medical Tourism into Anambra state by supporting the upgrading and/or building new facilities and securing the best of medical equipment and personnel that will make our State the most popular destination for medical tourism in Africa.
Join us, let’s go to work.