Citizen-focused health care delivery will end medical tourism- FG

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The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Mr Mamman Mahmuda, says Citizen centered healthcare delivery will end medical tourism by Nigeria.

Mahmuda made this known on Tuesday in Abuja, during a two-day SERVICOM retreat for principal officers of teaching hospitals, Federal Medical Centre (FMC) and other health institutions.

“We are trying to move forward vital issues that are sensitive and centered on the citizens so that they can have the best services possible with the available resources.

“I task the participants to change to a positive attitude and have the citizens at heart because they are vital so that at the end of the day the issue of seeking medical attention outside the country will be over.”

Also speaking, the National Coordinator, SERVICOM Office Mrs Nnenna Akajameli said that as SERVICOM foot soldiers, there was need for them to begin to think outside the box.

The national coordinator was represented by Ternenge Nyipira,Team Lead SERVICOM in charge of the health sector.

Akajemili said that thinking outside the box was to add value to the service delivery of processes in the various hospitals and agencies to the satisfaction of ctizens and for the common good of every Nigerian.

“In today’s world, the concept of design thinking as a way of creative resolution of problems is fast gaining ground and I would therefore appeal for solution-focused thinking as we attend to issues of service failures at all service points.

“For example, attending to complaints in a timely, transparent manner and showing empathy to the citizens, carrying out satisfaction surveys and stakeholders engagements.”

According to her, the two-day meeting serves as a means for Nodal/Focal and Desk Officers to network and interact on issues concerning service delivery improvement in Federal Ministry of Health and all its hospitals and agencies.

She urged them to begin to engage with their stakeholders periodically to validate standards set in the service charter and to streamline the service delivery process to make it more citizen focused and less cumbersome.

Also contributing, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) National Hospital, Abuja, Dr Jaf Momoh said that decisions would be taken during the meeting that would ensure that efficient service delivery was rendered to patients.

He also said that it would ensure that continuous improvement becomes a nationwide principle on patient schedule in all federal teaching hospitals.

“They should pay attention and suggest ways whereby our patients can have good service delivery where patients’ experience can be much better because when patients are sick we ought to be patient with them because they are under pressure.”

The Nodal Officer at the hospital, Dr Tayo Haastrup, said that the retreat is held every quarter to assess the quality of service in the health sector because service delivery to patients was very important.

“We have assembled the national officers, all nodal officers in all Federal Medical Centres and hospitals in this country to make sure that when quality service has been rendered by hospitals, there will be no need for people to go abroad for treatment.

“We can do it, the doctors we have in this country are very effective and efficient.

“We just have to continue to monitor and have programmes for the staff, doctors, nurses and other sectors of the hospital setup to make sure they give their best to reduce medical tourism in Nigeria.”

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the retreat provides a platform where information, successes, knowledge and experience sharing as well as best practices among representatives from the different parastatal and agencies under the ministry are reported, discussed, benchmarked and shared with a view to improving service delivery to various stakeholders.

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