By Michael Oche,
In a bid to build their capacity of managers of public health facilities, PharmAccess Foundation, through its Healthcare Management Programme (HMP), has called for more training to build their capacity.
This was made known at a lecture titled “Driving change in public institutions” organised by PharmAccess Foundation over the weekend.
According to the organizers, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgency to strengthen Nigeria’s health facilities and improve the quality of care delivered especially in the public health facilities which provided the first line of medical care during the pandemic.
It opined that the management of hospitals requires specific skill sets to achieve efficiency and positive health outcomes through a system approach, stressing that many government owned hospitals are not adequately managed because leadership have limited management and business training which is often lacking in curriculum of Nigerian medical schools.
The one-day training program was facilitated by Dr Adedamola Dada, Chief Medical Director of Federal Medical Center Ebute Metta Lagos with over 40 healthcare professionals from both private and government healthcare organizations.
Dr Dada was a participant in the first cohort of the HMP, which further equipped him to be the catalyst that brought significant changes in the management of FMC Ebute Metta. The changes instituted by Dr. Dada enabled the hospital to achieve Level 4 status in PharmAccess SafeCare quality improvement program, and till date remains the only public facility to achieve this status.
During the training, Dr Dada spoke on the need to drive change in public health institutions. He shared his experiences on practical steps which he instituted to transform the tertiary hospital including initial assessment to determine areas of improvement, digital transformation which boosted the revenues of the hospital and prevented leakages.
He also discussed in detail how FMC Ebute Metta brought about change in its infrastructure, procurement administration, staff capacity development, patient management and other critical areas that led to hospital to become more resilient, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr Dada provided clear evidence of the effects of HMP program using FMC Ebute Metta as a case study and how applying the knowledge from the program transformed the public hospital.
Also speaking during the training, the Country Director of PharmAccess Foundation, Njide Ndili noted that public hospitals, primary, secondary and tertiary level inclusive can be transformed if the management and medical personnel within public hospitals are adequately trained.
There are more public facilities especially at the primary care level which have been abandoned or operating at a sub optimal level and this has to change for Nigeria to achieve Universal Health Coverage. The Government needs to invest in constant training and retraining of healthcare professionals to equip them with the skills needed to manage public hospitals. She mentioned that majority of the HMP participants in the past have been from the private sector, hence the need to develop a public sector focused training with Enterprise Development Center (EDC).
Since its inception, a total of 118 healthcare professionals have been trained in 5 cohorts of the HMP. In additional to all the other interventions of PharmAccess in Nigeria, the HMP is another expression of its passion to ensure that every Nigerian has access to quality healthcare services.