Tinubu’s Commitment to Universal Health Coverage Takes Centre Stage, Says Official
New Administration Sets Universal Health Coverage as Top Priority for Healthcare Reform
In a resounding declaration of intent, Salma Anas, the Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Health, announced that the new administration is unwavering in its commitment to achieving comprehensive healthcare reform by prioritizing Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
The announcement was made during a health policy dialogue held in Abuja, organized by the UHC 2023 Forum, a coalition of prominent stakeholders in the health sector including civil societies, donor agencies, media representatives, and international partners.
Bridging the Gap in Healthcare Access
Under the theme of “Setting UHC and Health Security Priorities in the New Dispensation: Getting it Right from the Outset,” the dialogue centered on evaluating the nation’s health policy priorities in line with the recommendations put forth by the Presidential Committee on Health Reform.
The event also focused on assessing the citizen-led health agenda of the new administration and strategizing on the way forward.
Mrs. Anas reiterated Mr. Tinubu’s objective of narrowing the divide between the underprivileged and quality healthcare by ensuring financial security.
The administration aims to reallocate resources from the fuel subsidy, a move applauded by Betta Edu, the APC Women Leader, who commended Mr. Tinubu for redirecting funds towards subsidizing households and making substantial investments in the health and education sectors.
Political Will and Attitudinal Change Key to Health Sector Improvement
Haliru Yahaya, the Emir of Shonga, Kwara State, stressed the significance of political will and a shift in attitudes in driving positive change and progress within the country’s health system.
Recognizing the importance of political commitment, the World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative in Nigeria, Walter Mulombo, emphasized the need to appoint suitable individuals for key positions within the government, while also acknowledging the vital role of community involvement in shaping health policies.
Rob Yates, the Executive Director of the Centre for Universal Health Coverage at Chatham House, underscored the critical nature of political commitment in achieving UHC in Nigeria. In an encouraging show of support, Chatham House expressed its readiness to assist the newly appointed state governors in advancing the UHC agenda.
Urgent Action Required to Address Poor Health Outcomes
Mrs. Chika Offor, Chair of the Health Sector Reform Coalition (HSRC), called on the new government to act with a sense of urgency in addressing the country’s dismal health outcomes.
The Chair of the UHC 2023 Forum, Moji Makanjuola, highlighted the forum’s dedication to engaging with the political class to ensure health policy priorities align with the most pressing gaps in the healthcare system.
She stated, “Today’s event serves as a platform to present the available evidence on policy reforms in Nigeria and forge a consensus on health and health security priorities based on this evidence.
Furthermore, this forum allows us to identify key success factors for achieving health and health security reform objectives, particularly in our complex administrative setting.”
UHC 2023 Forum: Advocating for Comprehensive Healthcare
The UHC 2023 Forum, a coalition comprising donor agencies, development partners, civil society organizations, and the media, has emerged as a leading force in championing the cause of UHC and health security within the country.
With the support of the renowned global policy think-tank, Chatham House UK, and the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, the UHC 2023 Forum aims to elevate the political profile of health in Nigeria and foster citizen-led engagement for meaningful health reforms.