In an effort to make healthcare delivery accessible, affordable and efficient, the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) commission has come up with a blueprint to boost the health sector in the South West region.
The blueprint, which was developed by health experts and policy people who are experienced in diverse fields from both the private and public sectors and civil society orgnisations, was a template to turn around the fortune of the health sector in the South West region.
Presenting the blueprint during a regional health roundtable at DAWN Commission headquarters, Cocoa House, Ibadan, on Tuesday, former Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, said if the document is properly implemented, there would be an improvement in health and well being of people living in the region.
“What we are trying to do is to demonstrate that the health of our people is paramount and that health and education is very critical to the development of any society. We tried to recreate the Awolowo era where health was at the forefront, where South Western Nigeria was the leader in terms of health as well as education and we think we should bring back that era.
“The first thing we have done is to bring policy people, who are experienced in diverse field. We chose them deliberately, at least two representatives from each state in South Western Nigeria. We are at a stage now where we are doing some validation, we are moving to the political realms. If you look at the participation of people here today, apart from the political leadership represented by the commissioners, we also have civil society organisations, who also represented their people. Once we have their contribution, we sell it to the government and then we move to the implementation phase.
“Health is actually an indicator of socio-economic development; where you are develop, the health of your people is important. So what we want to do is to showcase health as a proxy indicator for development in South Western Nigeria and we say that we can be the leader,” he said.
According to the former minister, the document is looking at healthcare financing and quality healthcare delivery for people.
“We want to eliminate out of pocket expenses and that is why we are looking at the health insurance option. We want to eliminate forgone care where people who have no money will simply give up. Money now will no longer be a consideration, that is part of the strategy. We want health to be accessible, affordable and of quality,” he added.
Speaking, the Director General of DAWN Commission, Mr Seye Oyeleye, said the document was data driven, adding that it will inform and help state governments in the South West on investing in the health sector.
He noted that the template put together by a team of experts will turn around the fortune of the health sector in the region.
“There is no gainsaying the fact that we are going through difficult time as a country. Our earnings have dwindled a lot and our population has exploded. If we are expecting our governments to continue to be the one to fund the health sector, I think we’ll be living a lie.
“What the blueprint will be saying is making room, particularly for collaborative venture between the states and the private sector. Of course, you can’t price people out of healthcare delivery, but there must be a way that the private sector and state governments can collaborate to make health accessible, affordable and efficient. Those are the things you would be seeing in this report.
“The report is to give the state governments a road map of the things they need to invest into. If a mixture of private and public sector can be achieved through this blueprint, I think we are a winner,” he said.
The event was attended by Commissioners of Health from the South West states, representaitves of Civil Society Organisations, stakeholders among others.