Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has restated the commitment of the State Government to accessible and affordable healthcare delivery for citizens.
Speaking at the 3rd Distinguished Lecture of the University of Medical Sciences, UNIMED,Ondo City; Governor Akeredolu who is the visitor to the university lauded the immediate past administration of Dr Olusegun Mimiko on its salutary strides in the health sector and gave assurances that his administration would build on past achievements and surpass them.
The State Governor described healthcare as such a critical sector which should be within the reach of the masses hence the resolve to make it one of the 5-Cardinal Programmes of his administration.
Governor Akeredolu commended the Guest Speaker, Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate who had earlier spoken on: “The Future of Health and Promise of Primary Health Care in Nigeria”, for the diligent analysis he gave the Primary Healthcare sector in the country.
In his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof Friday Okonofua said the institution’s dream was to achieve the goal of showcasing exemplary minds in health and education in Nigeria, as a way of building a generation of impactful and highly effective health professionals.
He commended Governor Akeredolu for the tremendous support and encouragement he has given to the university since he assumed office which according to the Vice Chancellor had propelled the institution to higher levels of development.
“We have taken great futuristic giant strides, making the university one of the strongest institutions in the country today.
“The University hopes to achieve the goal of showcasing the most exemplary minds in health and education in Nigeria as a way to build the next generation of impactful and highly effective leaders for the health profession and for social development in the country”,he said.
The Vice Chancellor used the occasion to call for effective implementation of the 2014 policy on Primary Healthcare Under One Roof,PHCUOR,by the Federal Ministry of Health, and the rejigging of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, NPHCDA.
In his presentations,the 3rd Distinguished Guest Lecturer who was a former Minister of State for Health, Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate called for effective collaboration of Federal and State Governments with the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria in addressing policy, regulatory and access to capital constraints which have impeded healthcare delivery in Nigeria.
He said the development would not only develop the health sector but reduce foreign exchange losses from import of health services and health tourism.
Prof. Pate, who explained that medical tourism was not a peculiar Nigerian phenomenon, hinted that almost all those in the civilised world who have travelled for medical care, attended private hospitals and not public hospitals.
The former Minister stressed the need for transparency, accountability, community engagements and sound policies as well as execution, if the future of primary healthcare must be achieved.
He suggested visionary leadership to realize the future through the path of universal access to quality, effective and efficient primary health care services as foundation for a people centred health care system.
Top government functionaries in the health sector also attended the lecture.