Why public- private sector partnership is key in uplifting health sector, by Medical Director
The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the inadequacies in Nigeria’s healthcare policy and the need to embrace the public-private partnership model in funding and managing the sector, the Medical Director, Garki Hospital, Abuja, Dr. Adamu Onu has said.
Dr. Adamu Onu said vaccination for COVID-19 has started on a successful note even as he hailed the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 for doing a very good job in evolving a robust and workable national response strategy.
“The PTF on COVID-19, led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha has done remarkably well in managing the pandemic going by the rate of infection, fatality ratio and the rapid deployment of new infectious diseases laboratories across the country,” said Dr. Onu while reviewing the collaboration between public and private hospitals in managing the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr. Adamu noted that while the COVID-19 pandemic had exposed the huge gaps in the healthcare sector, replicating the template between NISA Premier and the Federal Capital Territory Administration would provide needed improvements.
Specifically, he noted that the pandemic has provided a stress test on the nation’s healthcare system which has exposed areas of inadequacies within the public even private health sectors.
“Nigeria’s healthcare sector is not as strong as it should be and the Covid-19 crises that came about is basically what I will call a stress test for the Nigerian health sector and in that regard, we have not done as well as we ought to have done. But based on my experience here in Garki Hospital, I can confidently say that the PPP model is a very good way to improve the healthcare sector so that when pandemics like this arrive, the capacity is there to be able to curb or handle such and take care of it.
“The PPP between NISA Premier and Garki Hospital, being the first of its kind in Nigerian health sector, has successfully passed this test. Since its inception in 2007 till date, the hospital has not shut down for a single day either due to strike action or any other reason and we have not sacked any staff ever since,” Dr. Onu elaborated.
Similarly, Dr. Onu explained that all patients, including those infected with COVID-19 were treated in line with the hospital’s policy of offering affordable treatment.
“It is therefore clearly evident that the public-private partnership model of which NISA Garki Hospital Abuja is the exemplar provides a clear pathway to upgrading and extending the Nigeria healthcare sector to world best standards, especially at this time when government finances are severely constrained,” he stressed.
Earlier last year, Chairman of Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 who also doubles as Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha alerted that the pandemic has provided a unique opportunity to x-ray the state of the healthcare sector which is in dire need of reforms and funding.
“As part of the PTF’s mandate, we are working towards strengthening the country’s public health emergency preparedness through system building and infrastructure development. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the fragile status of our health system and the near absence of the structures or building blocks necessary for the public health protection of our communities,” Mustapha once said.