Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has said that previous health care reforms in the country failed because there was no effective collaboration between the federal and state governments.
Professor Osinbajo acknowledged that attempts were made in the past, but that implementation has “either been incomplete, non-systemic or haphazard.”
The Vice President who spoke in Abuja today, November 28, at the opening of a two-day Presidential Health Reform Committee Retreat, said that there has been ongoing efforts to reposition Nigeria’s healthcare delivery system, insisting that it must include collaboration among different levels of government and the private sector to ensure effective implementation of reforms that will cater for the needs of Nigerians in the 21st century.
“We must recognize that reforms can be complex. And the lessons learnt are there, no silver bullets and no perfect approaches.
“This is especially true in huge areas such as healthcare. Previous efforts must be taken into account,” he said, adding: “you may have several small and even local reforms going on at different times.”
The Vice President acknowledged the contributions of past administrations, saying however that reforming the health sector remains in the front burner of the Buhari’s administration.
He said that the ongoing efforts will ”chart out a health System that best meets the needs of Nigerians in the 21st century, with special emphasis on strengthening Primary Health Care, improving access to Health Insurance, and establishing a platform that enables the country to better respond to future pandemics.
“What is crucial is that we set the broad parameters and vision for the health care system we desire for our people, we adopt a flexible approach that enables us track and incorporate other reform initiatives.
“We ensure that we always have the right people around the table, that there is wide ranging consultation, and that all views are properly considered, that we keep our vision clear through the process and we develop a robust and viable implementation process.”
Osinbajo took a look at the lessons from the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic, emphasizing that “healthcare, especially public health emergencies cannot but have a multi-disciplinary, multi sector approach…. serious health reform must have the same multisectoral approach.”