The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said the Guild of Medical Directors must be involved in the health reforms in the country.
Dr. Ehanire said this during the inaugural leadership and business summit of the guild held in Abuja.
According to the minister, there is a need for a permanent and continuous communication link between the Federal Ministry of Health and the guild as key stakeholders in health care delivery in the country.
This was contained in a communique signed by the GMD’s National President, Dr Raymond Kuti, and the Assistant General-Secretary, Dr Abimbola Silva, and made available to The PUNCH.
The guild quoted the minister as saying that “Although the Federal Ministry of Health as the policy-making body, may not directly offer financial aid to private medical facilities, there needs to be a permanent and continuous communication link between the FMOH and the GMD, as key stakeholders in Health care delivery in Nigeria.
“In order for the NHIS (now NHIA) to be successful, the key providers of health care need to be effectively involved with the operational guidelines of such Health Insurance.
“The FMOH should engage the private sector by encouraging the aforementioned innovative services and by being the greatest advocate of the GMD to lead to the reversal of medical tourism.”
Ehanire added that the Federal Government should strongly review the issue of actively leasing out some of its facilities to be managed by the private sector in the Public-Private Partnership arrangement.
He also urged the guild to invest in sustainable collaborations and networks that will attract funding in and outside the country to scale their medical businesses.
On his part, Dr Kuti said to attain Universal Health Coverage, the guild must be involved and must be active team players in the health care reform in the country.
“The Guild of Medical Directors as Owners and Proprietors of Private Medical Facilities in Nigeria are key stakeholders in the Healthcare Industry in Nigeria since it is well known that private facilities undertake up to 70 percent of the healthcare needs of the country.
“Many innovative strides have been taken and are being taken daily in the medical field in Nigeria and more so in the private health sector.
“In order to attain Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria, private medical facilities and their management represented by the Guild of Medical Directors must be active team players as we look to Health Care Reform in the country,” Kuti said.