Amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, the Nigeria Commissioners for Health Forum is strategising to rebuild the country’s health sector. The newly-appointed acting national chairman of the forum, Dr. Betta Edu of Cross River State, stated in Calabar after her emergence at the weekend that topmost on the forum’s agenda was to see a more resilient health system in the country.
Edu, who is also Chairman, Cross River State Task Force on COVID-19, promised to reposition the forum with the establishment of a technical arm to engage development partners and other key stakeholders.
“We would take advantage of the present pandemic to advance discussions and actions on strategic building of the health sector. “It is COVID-19 today, another pandemic can put more burden on the health system in the future if we do not properly prepare. Building political capital will be crucial for our success, as a forum,” she said.
This, according to her, will help the country achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) through the implementation of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) and Health Insurance Scheme (HIS) in all states, working with the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
Meanwhile, Onofiok Luke, representing Etinan/Nsit Ibom/Nsit Ubium constituency of Akwa Ibom State in the House of Representatives, has charged the state’s chapter of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) to be a catalyst to the needed change in the health sector.
He made the call during the State Officers Committee Leadership and Strategic Session at Amity Hotel, Uyo, at the weekend.
Luke, who was special guest at the event, spoke on the topic, ‘Leaders as Change Agents: How NMA can Inspire, influence and Change the Health Sector in Akwa Ibom State’. The immediate past speaker of Akwa Ibom State of Assembly said the topic of discourse was dear to his heart.
“I find this theme very germane, especially in a time like this. Leaders, by virtue of their nature, should be agents of change because our society is constantly changing. “Today, nobody would have properly envisaged the pandemic that has bedevilled our world. COVID-19 has changed our world, and, as leaders in our different fields, we must lead the approach models for adjusting,” he said.
On how leaders can be change agents, he prescribed passion for principles and integrity, less concern for validation or affirmation, high level of curiosity and the ability to master past failures and turn them into successes. He commended the state governor, Udom Emmanuel, for giving priority to the health of the masses.
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