The Minister of Health, Prof.Onyebuchi Chukwu, has called on family doctors to counsel families on the efficacy and efficiency of preventive tips to healthy living.
Chukwu made the call at a meeting of the Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners in Nigeria (AGPMPN) and the Society of Family Physicians of Nigeria (SOFPON) on Saturday in Abuja..
He said that the meeting, which coincided withWorld Family Doctors’ Day, was a good opportunity to reflect on ways and means to encourage families to keep healthy through preventive approach.
The minister said that Nigeria was burdened with communicable and none communicable diseases and that family doctors had a role to play in addressing these issues.
He said, ``Do not only focus on the sick, but make time to counsel patients and their families on the role healthy living has on preventing illness.''
The minister was represented by Dr Bose Adeniran, Head of Reproductive Health Division of the ministry at the World Health Assembly.
Dr Ibrahim Wada, the Group Medical Advisor at Garki Hospital, told participants that Nigeria should now embrace Private Public Partnership in the attempt to achieve the Millennium Development Goal Five.
He said that PPP, as a strategy, would help in the achievement of MDG five, which focuses on maternal health.
``We are in age of PPP, which will provide an alternative to public management of healthcare and help tackle the health of the country’s rapidly growing population.”
Wada said that the best ways to ensure equal access to healthcare delivery was either through pooling everyone’s money as in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) or by sourcing money through the PPP.
Wada said that the public and private sectors had their strengths and weaknesses, adding that the public sector had access to abundant resources.
He, however, said that the sector was suffering in resource allocation and corruption, while the private sector could boast of prudence in managing available resources.
He said that the PPP was like a marriage of convenience between the public and private sector, as each partner brought to the table expertise that was needed to meet public needs.
Wada said that partnership was not about concession or about having one type of partnership plan for every hospital.
``There are many variations of partnerships that fall between private and public partnership, but they can only work if due process is followed and transparency is established.”
He said that the challenge in the PPP was how best to ensure access to world class health care at the least cost.
``What is ideal, is healthcare that is accessible, so that people do not have to travel miles and miles to get it.
``Healthcare that is affordable, so that people do not have to sell their homes to get it and healthcare that is efficient and can solve problems.”
NAN also reports that the events of the day marked the end of the associations Health Week and its Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference, which had the theme: ``Healthy Living: The role of family doctors''.