Confidence in health care system will curb medical tour says Okowa

Governor of Delta, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa, has said that medical tourism will greatly reduce with effective Patient Centered Care (PCC) system as Nigerians will have more confidence in the health facilities.

Delivering a keynote address at the 2nd National Health Summit and the 25th Commonwealth Medical Association (CMA) triennial conference in Abuja on Tuesday, he noted that PCC has the “great potentials to produce much better outcomes in a cost-efficient manner, reduce system errors and increase patient satisfaction that would radically alter the current unfavourable perception of our healthcare system by majority of the public.”

According to him, while expansion to access and functionality of our health institutions is necessary, the greater need is a resolve by healthcare providers and teams to be more committed to their duties.


“We must practice with some reasonable level of integrity, ensuring 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.

Delta State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa (left) receiving an Award of Active Participation and Funding from the President, Nigeria Medical Association, Dr. Francis Faduyile, during the 2nd National Health Summit, held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja

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

He said that the National Health Summit would shape and influence the national conversation on healthcare system in Nigeria. He observed that “Nigerian Medical Association deserves commendation for its drive and passion to improve medical practice in the country for better patient care and health outcomes, as well as canvassing for standard operative environment for its members and other healthcare providers”

“In line with global best practices over the years, the NMA has continued to impress with its robust advocacy, training and development of its members as well as engaging in corporate social responsibility through public enlightenment programmes, especially with regards to communicable diseases.”

President Muhamadu Buhari represented by the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, at the occasion, stated that patients expect to be accorded full confidentiality and respect.

“A patient must be kept updated to the nature and possible complications of his treatment and patient dignity must remain sacrosanct.”

The President observed that loss of confidence in the hospital was the cause of medical tourism, assuring that the federal government will open conversation with Doctors and Nurses to improve healthcare delivery.

Chairman of the occasion, General Yakubu Gowon it expressed hope that the summit will bring more suggestions to improve the Nigeria health sector.

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

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