By Abdulwaheed Olayinka Adubi, Kaduna
A comprehensive, demand-oriented, and efficient health care system is an essential element of a social system. Also, most of the people in a society including the politicians give high importance to the health issue which according to experts, is one of the main driving forces for the growth of not only the health sector, as it plays a vital role in the socio-economic development of any society.
The priority given to the health sector in Gombe state by the Inuwa Yahaya’s administration in the last two years was noted as it became obvious that in the last two years, the Governor has continued to improve the well being of the citizenry through the provision of social amenities in the health sector.
However, according to experts, Nigeria has one of the largest stocks of human resources for health in Africa, but to some extent lack of public and private sector coordination is one of the identified problems working against the sector in the country.
Realizing this as a challenge to the health sector, that without coordination of the sector and not having access to healthcare, people are far more at risk, it is on this note that the government of Gombe state in January 2020 signed into law, the State Contributory Healthcare Management, which according to him is to repositioning the health sector in the state for accessibility and affordability to a greater majority of people in the state.
Recall that while signing the bill into law, Gov. Inuwa Yahaya said, it will help in fostering efficiency and effectiveness in healthcare service delivery as well as engendering transparency, accountability and good governance in Gombe state, as it was obvious that before, January 2020, Gombe is the only state in Nigeria without a Hospital Management Board, but with the signing of the law, the Governor promised that hospitals will operate better and that ordinary people will now have some reprieve in terms of basic healthcare service.
The signing of the CHMB in 2020 accorded the state the benefit to align with the national health policy and also to be able to access Basic Healthcare Provision Fund, which is set aside at the Federal Accounts and which can only be accessed with the law.
“With this development, Gombe state has now joined the league and there will be some succor for the people, and in particular, the less privileged ones, who find it difficult to get support when needed,” the governor assured Gombe residents.
In the recent times, the story of the health sector in Gombe state is changing for better, due to notable achievements in the sector.
The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) at the weekend expressed satisfaction with Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya’s unprecedented transformation of the health sector in Gombe State within just a 2 years period.
This was disclosed by Dr Sikiru Saluwudeen at the briefing session with the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Habu Dahiru on the outcome of the just concluded accreditation exercise jointly performed by the NHIS and the State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency (GoHealth).
The visit was meant to brief the Honourable Commissioner on the health facility accreditation exercise carried out to ascertain the level of preparedness of the 114 Primary Healthcare Centres selected to provide services to Basic Healthcare Provision Fund beneficiaries.
Dr Salawuddeen who is the immediate past Coordinator of NHIS in the state, applauded the state government under the leadership of Governor Inuwa Yahaya for transforming healthcare facilities across the state.
He remarked that all the 114 healthcare facilities visited have standard infrastrutures and equipment required to provide the basic minimum package of health services apart from a few flashpoints of manpower gap in some hard-to-reach areas. “Haven worked in the state and left about 2 years ago, I could not believe the transformation I have witnssed in my return to the state”, he said.
In his response, the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Habu Dahiru reiterated that the revitalisation of healthcare facilities in the state was as a result of the governor’s resolve in prioritising health since assuming office.
He stressed the need for a strong collaboration between NHIS and GoHealth for the smooth take-off of the BHCPF and other programmes.
Since May 2019 that Inuwa Yahaya assumed office as the number one citizen in the state, his commitment to systematically address the health issue of the people in the state has received commendations even from outside the shore of the state.
Adubi writes from Kaduna