PMB and ‘PTF’ model for Nige­ria’s health sec­tor

Daily Trust - - HEALTH -

Then he was called Gen­eral Muham­madu Buhari (GMB), I asked him two ques­tions re­lated to health and de­vel­op­ment at an in­ter­ac­tive meet­ing be­tween him as an ANPP Pres­i­den­tial Can­di­date and Nige­ri­ans that gath­ered at a con­fer­ence hall of Im­pe­rial Col­lege Lon­don on Satur­day 20th Jan­uary 2007.

1. “If you be­come Nige­ria’s Pres­i­dent as a re­sult of the Fe­bru­ary 2007 Elec­tion what health care fi­nanc­ing in­no­va­tion will you bring to our co­matose health sec­tor?”

2. “And if you couldn’t suc­ceed to be­come Nige­ria’s Pres­i­dent in the Fe­bru­ary Elec­tion what are your post­elec­tion plans to sup­port sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment in Nige­ria”

Pres­i­dent Buhari in a re­sponse to the 1st ques­tion had smartly sug­gested a di­rec­tion and he said “My ex­pe­ri­ence as the then Chair­man of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) will help me to in­tro­duce an in­ter­ven­tion in the health sec­tor that will en­sure ad­e­quate and avail­able drugs via a spe­cial fund that will en­sure ef­fi­cient drug re­volv­ing scheme as well as im­prove­ment of de­cayed hospi­tal in­fras­truc­ture”

He didn’t re­spond to my 2nd ques­tion as I wanted as my aim then was to pre­pare his mind that in the even­tu­al­ity, he didn’t be­come the Nige­ria’s pres­i­dent in the Fe­bru­ary elec­tion would he be open to sup­port non-gov­ern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions and de­vel­op­ment part­ners work­ing in health and de­vel­op­ment as a cham­pion.

Here was GMB re­sponse ver­ba­tim to my 2nd ques­tion with a smile of course “I don’t like this ques­tion, I don’t like this ques­tion as by Fe­bru­ary 2007 Elec­tion I am the Nige­ria’s Pres­i­dent”.

He got a big ap­plause from the au­di­ence but both he and the au­di­ence then missed the essence of my ques­tion and in­ter­ven­tion. In a two part ar­ti­cle af­ter the meet­ing, I wrote on my ex­pe­ri­ence ti­tled “Buhari, 2007 and achiev­ing the MDGs” pub­lished then in Daily Trust News­pa­per and Gamji Web­site.

Now back to the present, those two ques­tions raised in 2007 (eight years ago) and the is­sues dis­cussed are back to the ta­ble of Pres­i­dent Muham­mad Buhari (PMB) and his planned health sec­tor team as we are ex­plor­ing the best model to re­vamp the health sec­tor. Al­ready the PMB tran­si­tion com­mit­tee’s re­port has pro­vided insight in to the in­no­va­tion be­ing pro­posed which has some sem­blance to the ‘PTF’ model.

In the tran­si­tion com­mit­tee re­port un­der the sub­mis­sion of the So­cial Is­sues Sub Com­mit­tee, a pri­or­ity is pro­posed to sup­port the im­ple­men­ta­tion of Na­tional Health Act. It pro­posed what needed to be done by the gov­ern­ment of Pres­i­dent Buhari as fol­lows; Set-up and op­er­a­tional­ize the Ba­sic Health­care Pro­vi­sion Fund and de­vo­lu­tion of pri­mary & sec­ondary health­care Fa­cil­i­ties from Fed­eral Gov­ern­ments to Lo­cal & State Gov­ern­ments as well as Pri­vate Sec­tor. And also to cre­ate gov­er­nance struc­ture for the Ba­sic Health­care Pro­vi­sion Fund with a view to im­ple­ment­ing lead­ing stan­dards of ac­count­abil­ity and con­sis­tent per­for­mance re­port­ing on the use and im­pact of the fund.

We need to pose here and ask PMB and his health team “to what ex­tend what they are do­ing now willlead to re­al­iz­ing what was pro­posed?”

An­other sec­tion of the tran­si­tion re­port rec­om­mended pri­or­i­ti­za­tion of ‘Ef­fec­tive Pri­vate Sec­tor In­vest­ment’ It rec­om­mended that the new gov­ern­ment should en­hance pri­vate sec­tor par­tic­i­pa­tion in the health sec­tor via Pri­vate Sec­tor In­ter­ven­tion Fund. An ex­am­ple of In­dian med­i­cal sys­tem was cited that was jump started by sim­i­lar gov­ern­ment as­sis­tance.This is an­other ‘PTF’ like model which is yet to com­mence and I am not even sure if dis­cus­sion is al­ready on -go­ing to make it hap­pen bear­ing in mind that the re­port rec­om­mended that within 1st `100 days of PMB, ac­tions should kick start for that.

It is im­per­a­tive for ad­vo­cates to re­mind PMB what he said many years ago and to con­nect with the present all in ef­fort to gen­uinely in­ter­vene to­wards a bet­ter health sec­tor and a bet­ter so­ci­ety. Few days to his swear­ing in cer­e­mony I pub­lished an ar­ti­cle ti­tled ‘May 29th; Pres­i­dent Buhari please speak out on Health’in that ar­ti­cle it was a dream in­au­gu­ral speech of PMB which I will con­clude this ar­ti­cle with.

“My ad­min­is­tra­tion will pro­vide a strong po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship, ac­count­abil­ity and trans­parency in the health sec­tor as health is fun­da­men­tal to na­tional de­vel­op­ment. We will strive to re­verse the un­for­tu­nate trend of un­ac­cept­able ma­ter­nal and un­der-five deaths due to pre­ventable dis­eases by in­vest­ing in both pre­ven­tive and cu­ra­tive medicine and by work­ing with state and lo­cal gov­ern­ments, de­vel­op­ment part­ners and civil so­ci­ety or­ga­ni­za­tions to im­prove hu­man resources for health and en­sure es­sen­tial live sav­ing drugs are avail­able in all our fa­cil­i­ties 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

“We are also com­mit­ted to im­prov­ing the fis­cal space for health as we are aware of the chal­lenges of ad­e­quate fund­ing for Rou­tine Im­mu­niza­tion and what is needed for the fi­nal push to erad­i­cate Po­lio in Nige­ria. We will en­gage all in­ter­ested stake­hold­ers in­clud­ing the pri­vate sec­tor to in­no­va­tively im­prove health care fi­nanc­ing via pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship and mo­bi­liz­ing more do­mes­tic resources. We should uti­lize fund­ing from in­ter­na­tional de­vel­op­ment part­ners as com­pli­men­tary not the main source of fund­ing for our health sec­tor.

“I am also com­mit­ted to the full im­ple­men­ta­tion of the re­cently signed Na­tional Health Act which pro­vides a frame­work for re­form­ing the health sec­tor. Nige­ria will take its lead­er­ship po­si­tion in lead­ing other African coun­tries in pro­vid­ing in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions to the myr­iad health prob­lems in Nige­ria and Africa in gen­eral. This we will achieve by mean­ing­ful en­gage­ment of African heads of states and in­ter­na­tional play­ers at ECOWAS, African Union, World Health As­sem­bly and United Na­tions.”

All com­ments to Dr Aminu Ma­gashi, Pub­lisher Health Re­porters (health­weekly@ya­hoo.com)

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