2ND NATIONAL HEALTH SUMMIT: Okowa Advocates Confidence Building In Nigeria’s Health Care System To Check Medical Tourism


Governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has said medical tourism will drastically reduce with effective Patient Centered Care (PCC) system as that will make Nigerians to be more confident in the health facilities.

The Governor stated this on Tuesday in a keynote address at the 2nd National Health Summit and 25th Commonwealth Medical Association (CMA) triennial conference in Abuja. 

He noted that Patient Centered Care had the potential to produce much better outcomes in a cost effective manner, reduce system errors and increase patient satisfaction that would radically alter the current unfavourable perception of the nation’s healthcare system by the majority of Nigerians.

Okowa said while increased access and functionality of health institutions were necessary, more important was a resolve by healthcare providers and teams to be more dedicated to their duties.

“We must, with some reasonable level of integrity, ensure that the voice of the patient (and family) is not silenced and in consonance with the Physician Pledge, our patients ought to be respected and treated fairly because, saving lives is not just the cure of an ailment, it is the total wellbeing of the patient, who must be a friend and partner in the healthcare process.

“The structure of the PCC must be such that encourages the participation of all while enabling the patient to fully share in the decision-making process as the PCC model is enhanced when roles of team members are clearly spelt out in a way that is empowering and invites accountability.

“The Patient Centered Care focusses on the patients’ satisfaction and their perception of good quality as indicators of quality healthcare.,” the Governor said.

He said the National Health Summit would shape and influence the national conversation on healthcare system in Nigeria, adding that the Nigerian Medical Association deserved commendation for its drive and passion to improve medical practice in the country for better patient care and health outcomes.

The Governor noted that in line with global best practices, the NMA had over the years continued to drive its robust advocacy, training and development of its members as well as engage in corporate social responsibility through public enlightenment programmes, especially with regards to communicable diseases.

In an address, President Muhammadu Buhari, represented by the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, stressed the need for the system to accord full confidentiality and respect to patients.

The President said a patient must be kept updated with the nature and possible complications of his treatment, while his dignity must remain sacrosanct.

He blamed medical tourism on loss of confidence in the nation’s health facilities, assuring that the federal government would liaise with doctors and nurses to fashion out ways to improve healthcare delivery in the country.

General Yakubu Gowon, who chaired the occasion, expressed the hope that the  summit would suggest ways to improve the nation’s health sector.

President of NMA, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, said all disadvantaged communities within the Commonwealth must be given a voice and foundation to take health care systems in the Commonwealth to a new direction.

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