By Jospehine Oguntoyinbo
Establishment of a functional State Health Trust Agency to eliminate financial barrier at the point of care will further boost health care delivery in Nigeria.
Ondo State Commissioner for Health, Dr Dayo Adeyanju made the submission in his lecture as a guest Speaker at the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) Ondo 2016 Physician Week held in Akure.
The lecture was titled: “Health Care in a Frail Economy: Challenges and Way Forward, Ondo State as a case study.”
According to him, the Health Trust Agency will involve community participation with mandatory insurance.
The Commissioners submitted that introduction of health tax as a percentage of contracts, launching of the state residency smart card for effective planning and giving legislative backing to all programmes as done in the case of CEMDOS law are towards qualitative health care delivery in Nigeria.
Adeyanju, who said the economic condition of any society is determined by the it’s increasing ability to master the environment, noted that the ability to effectively combine human and natural resources for efficient production produces a stable economy.
He maintained that “this is usually reflected in the standard of living of people. A crisis situation sets in when the human and natural resources are not effectively combined or when the proceeds from the combination are controlled by only a few.”
He described a frail economy as an economy in recession, which, according to him, is a general economic decline and a negative economic growth for two consecutive quarters, saying recession is less severe than a depression.
The Commissioner however noted that “economic crises may create more social burden and become a strain on the health sector, therefore affecting health outcomes negatively in many developing countries, it could, however, also provide an opportunity for improved health system performance.
“Thailand, for example, cautiously anticipates that the economic crises could create opportunities for more equity and improved efficiency.”
He highlighted some of the achievements of the present government in the sector which has received accolades both home and abroad to include Abiye programme, Confidentiary Enquiry into Maternal Deaths in Ondo State Law (CEMDOS), Agbebiye Initiative, Orirewa, University of Medical Sciences, the Medical Village, Ondo and the Emergency Medical Services, among others.
Adeyanju also advocated for prompt maintenance of good health by all and sundry to avoid severe complication due to poor health care seeking behaviour.
The Chairman of the occasion who was a former Permanent Secretary, Ondo State Ministry of Health, Dr Julius Kolawole commended the state government for its gaint strides in the health sector which was attested to world wide.
He reminded doctors that they are God’s human tools, and therefore must continue to work efficiently towards qualitative health care delivery in Nigeria.
The NMA Chairman in the state, Dr Dolani Gbelela, charged the Federal Government to implement the National Health Act as it would go a long way to improve service delivery in the health sector.
Gbelela explained that the week-long event is done annually to update the knowledge to physicians and proffer solution to problems and challenges facing the sector.