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Political Will Crucial to Meeting Desired Universal Healthcare Coverage – Mimiko
Political will stands at the root of meeting desired Universal Health Coverage and Emergency health care delivery, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, the immediate past governor of Ondo State, has said.
Mimiko who was speaking as the Chairman of the 2019 Nigerian Medical Association NMA Physicians’ Week themed “Care of the Unknown Patient: An Overview” on Tuesday said “Government has responsibility for Care of the unknown patient and must summon and also be helped to summon the necessary political will.”
Having defined all citizens, rich or poor, young or old, the lowly or the mighty, as potential “unknown patients”, by reason of their being members of society, Mimiko said current efforts to cater for citizens requiring emergency care as represented by the National Health Act 2014 must be made more practicable by decentralizing the operationalization of its provisions.
“Perhaps the potentially most impactful of the relevant laws is the National Health Act 2014, which does not only recognize the importance of State responsibility in EMS but goes ahead to attempt to enact a sustainable financing strategy,” Mimiko said.
The Act he said states that “the day-to-day implementation of the EMT gateway, including any commissioning that is required, shall be carried out by the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) staff designated by the Minister of Health on the TMSOF’, a reality he says will create administrative nightmare. “Why centralize when you can decentralize, devolve, (restructure), for better results?” he asked.
Mimiko who said “every decent society should have a decent level of emergency medical services” added that Nigeria needs to up its ante.
“We must pay attention to and invest in technology as it is and will continue to disrupt settled assumptions in concept and practice in all fields, the medical profession inclusive,” and work towards decentralizing funding of emergency care as provided for in the National Health Care Act 2014.
Mimiko as governor of Ondo State had instituted an impressive Emergency Care system with detailed provision for intervention at points of Road traffics accidents, modern extrication of accident victims, access to immediate health care through fully equipped medical ambulances and a world class trauma center with capacity for tertiary care for trauma victims.