Spurred by the desire to see Nigeria achieve an efficient health sector void of the myriad of challenges it’s currently facing, the Healthcare Transformation Coalition (HTC), has called on its members to elect credible leaders who have the interest of the sector in the upcoming general elections.
Chairman, HTC, Dr. Jide Idris gave the call on Friday, January 13, 2023, at a symposium tagged “Repositioning the healthcare sector: Creating the pathway to an effective Health System”, held in Abuja.
Idris informed that the HTC was a coalition of members of various professional groups in the health sector, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, laboratory scientists, optometrists, radiographers, Traditional Medicine Practitioners e.t.c.
Speaking in the purpose of the coalition, he said, “we are approaching a new government and over the years, healthcare professionals reacted to health policies. The government sets policies we don’t like, we start reacting with strike actions and so on. So we felt this time around, we should be involved in setting the health agenda.
“At the end of the day, health is everybody’s business, not only doctors, government has a role, the individuals have a role, we professionals have a role.
“Over the years too, we always believed that government knows everything, that is not correct, because government are human beings, they are not Healthcare professionals. So, it is left for we healthcare professionals to show the direction, to tell them what they should do and what we want done.
“We cannot have a good health sector if we don’t play the politics. This symposium was organised as part of many activities, was to mobilise all health workers, friends, colleagues in getting very political”, Idris averred.
He added that the symposium would provide them the opportunity to reposition the health sector by participating in agenda setting and policy making.
It would also proffer concrete solutions to get it right in the health sector as the suggestions gotten from the discussion would be collated and presented to candidates aspiring for political offices. He added that the Coalition would also insist on implementation after they are elected.
Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, while applauding the initiative, listed its objectives to include Universal Health Coverage that would provide geographic and financial access to healthcare for 95% or more residents of Nigeria and offer a basic minimum package of health services to citizens, even in remote and rural areas, without their suffering financial hardship.
Others were, commitment to continuous improvement of the quality of healthcare offered at all levels, and also the creation of a robust and sustainable health financing mechanism.
He therefore charged them to vote wisely on election day.
On his part, Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Sen. Bola Tinubu who was represented by Sen. Aliyu Sabhi promised that healthcare would surely witness remarkable improvement under his leadership, if elected.