The Honourable Minister of Health Dr. Osagie Ehanire, on Tuesday 22nd April 2022, inaugurated the Ministerial Joint Committee of Nigeria/Turkey on Health reform and Universal Health Coverage, as part of Mr. President’s commitment to repositioning and restructuring the health sector towards achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for all Nigerians.
Dr. Ehanire informed that in December 2021, the Government of Nigeria participated in the third Turkey-Africa Partnership summit with the theme: “Joint development and enhanced cooperation for prosperity” held in Istanbul, Turkey. As part of the Presidential discussion, there was an expression of interest by the Turkish Health sector to partner and collaborate with Nigeria, towards building an improved health sector, by learning from the massive reforms that the Turkish government has implemented in the past decade in their health sector. These reforms the Minister said, has seen near achievement of a 100% UHC by the country and massive improvements in their health indices, with Turkey fast becoming a global destination for medical tourism.
Speaking further, the Minister revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic exposed the fragility of our health, hence the need to leverage on experiences and global best practices to strengthen the Nigeria health sector. “We must provide free or affordable healthcare services for our citizens as part of government commitment and social responsibility.” The Federal Ministry of Health therefore commits to partner with the Turkey Health Ministry to emulate its health sector development using lessons learnt with the following Terms of Reference (TOR).
“To review the MOU signed and develop a joint agreement to be signed by the Nigeria and Turkey government; to assess the current situation of health insurance coverage and E-health in Nigeria and how to partner with Turkish government; to develop a joint National Framework to unlock the private health sector potential in health infrastructure development, digital health and others including nutrition service; to provide an opportunity for sharing of expression by the Turkish health sector; explore potentials in healthcare system areas such as emergency medical services and ambulance system as signed in the MOU; to make recommendations to the Honourable Ministers of Health on the potential resource mobilization as well as other mechanisms for successful implementation of the Universal Health; to undertake any other activity that will facilitate the Universal Health Insurance Coverage for all Nigeria and Health reform and a Technical Sub-Committee to be constituted from the main committee and identify and co-opt the private sector where necessary.”
Members of the Inaugurated Committee include:
Dr. Salma Anas Ibrahim – Director Family Health – Chair
Prof. Mohammed Nasir Sambo – ES/NHIS – Co- Chair
Dr. Garba Bulama – Director Planning NPHCDA – Member
Dr. Kenneth Okereafor – GM ICT, NHIS – Member
Dr. Saidu Ahmed – Deputy Director/STA-HMH – Member
Idris Adamu – Project Director NIGCOMSAT – Member
Dr. Adaeze Okonkwo – AD Policy, DHPRS – Member
Dr. Angus Ikpe – Assistant Director, Strategic Planning – Member
Barr. Danladi M. Salisu -TA-Legal HMH – Member
Mr. Dickson H. Nkwachukwu/Aisha Bantam – Secretariat
Dr. Ehanire expressed optimism that the outcome and implementation of the committee’s recommendations may leapfrog Nigeria into the global health arena as expected making her a leading nation in Africa.
By Blessing Efem
Signed: A.A.A. Chindaya (Deputy Director Media and Public Relations)