The Guild of Medical Directors (GMD) has urged the Federal Government to appoint its members to committees charged with developing or revising the NHIA’s operational guidelines and tariff.
The guild appealed in a communiqué issued after its inaugural Business and Leadership Summit in Abuja on Wednesday.
It started at the summit that for the National Health Insurance Act (NHIA) to be successful, key health care providers must be effectively involved with the operational guidelines of such health insurance.
According to the communiqué, the Federal Government should seriously consider actively leasing out some of its facilities to be managed by the private sector under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model.
According to the communiqué, instead of Nigerians continuing to engage in medical tourism, the Federal Government should publicly advocate for the use of Nigerian private hospitals with the innovative services that they travel abroad to access.
The guild also advocated for the immediate formation of a working committee to ensure continuous and permanent communication between the Federal Ministry of Health and the private sector, with GMD representatives serving as key members.
However, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the National President, Dr. Raymond Kuti, stated that public-private partnerships (PPPs) were the best way to provide healthcare to Nigerians.
“The way we want PPP to work is for the government to support policies that allow and approve doctors in private medical practices to partner and integrate with government hospitals.”
“Lagos State is already doing that, and there are hospitals in Lagos where sub-services are being ceded to private-sector doctors.”
“And they run them for it, the agreement is there, and I believe this is something we can replicate throughout the country,” he said.
According to Kuti, 70% of doctors work in the private sector, so their skills should be applied in government hospitals as well, which is the PPP segment in which the group is interested.
“We have policymakers; let us meet regularly to see how these things work.” Let us know about the government policies and how we can use them as doctors in the private sector.
“Not every hospital should have its operating theater.” If a government hospital has seven operating rooms, for example, we have doctors in private hospitals who can transport their patients there and even operate on government patients around the clock.
“So doctors in private hospitals can then use or benefit from government infrastructure to provide the best care to patients at affordable prices.”
He also stated that the guild, which was repositioned to remain a strong partner in the Nigerian health care sector, was completely complementary to the public health sector and comparatively better equipped to provide quality health care.
He stated that the guild’s goal was to initiate and maintain a constructive dialogue with policymakers in the legislative branch of government.
This, he claims, is to find win-win solutions to the numerous challenges confronting the Nigerian healthcare sector.