04 July 2021 By Remi Johnson
In a bid to reduce excessive out of pocket spending on Medical care, Association of Catholic Medical Practitioners of Nigeria,have advocated a Health Insurance of all Nigerians in the formal and informal sectors towards providing qualitative health care for all.
National President of the Association, Dr. Matthew Ashikeni, stated this at the15th annual general meeting and Scientific Africa Regional Conference in Abuja.
Dr Ashikeni explained that adequate funding of the health sector and synergy between the public and private sectors would facilitate in enrollment and enable more people have access to quality healthcare services, irrespective of their social or financial status.
According to Dr Ashikeni and other Medical Doctors at the forum, establishment of a robust health financing mechanism such as a mandatory contributory social health insurance, would go a long way to fast track the attainment of Universal Health Coverage by 2030, particularly in rural communities.
His Words: “… in the wake of the COVID19 pandemic, many women, children, families and communities suffered the consequences of limited access to essential health services…there is need for government agencies to integrate the Catholic health institutions and other similar facilities to complement each other in the provision of essential health services to all Nigerians… supporting health institutions for synergy and the multiplier effects on the health of citizens without them suffering financial hardships”.
On his part, the Deputy Governor of Nassarawa State, Dr Emmanuel Akabe, who described the role of Catholic doctors as apt, expressed optimism that the target for the attainment of universal health coverage
could be achievable if the policies on ground are carefully implemented.
“In no distant time, I know we will be able to achieve universal health coverage, as the policies are there, all we need to do is to put our acts together, and we will be there.”
Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Most Rev. Dr. Ignatius Kaigama,who expressed delight over the production of the handbook guide for Health workers and commended the association for their contributions to nation building.
” This conference put together in this manner is really encouraging. And because they want medical doctors to be complete Catholics integrating science and faith together, they have produced a handbook for Catholic Medical Practitioners in Nigeria.”
The conference with the theme: “Universal Health Coverage 2030 and health security” featured the presentation of exemplary leadership Awards to the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, Renowned Economist, Prof. Pat Utomi, and Chairman, Senate committee on Primary Healthcare and Communicable Diseases, Senator Chukwuka Utazi; and presentation of Distinguished membership award to Nasarawa State Deputy Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe .