FG Seeks Stakeholders’ Investment In Health Information Systems
The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, has encouraged health finance stakeholders to invest not only in healthcare financing but also in health information systems.
He stated that the health information system in Nigeria requires strengthening to ensure that decisions in the area are made based on reliable data.
The call was made at the End of Project event for the Nigeria Healthcare Financing Technical Assistance Program, which was held in Abuja on Tuesday.
The program marked the end of a healthcare financing technical assistance partnership project between public sector healthcare organizations; the Federal Ministry of Health, the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), And The National Primary
Health Care Development Agency (NPHDA); and a non-governmental organization with Health Financing expertise; Results for Development (R4D).
Ehanire, who was represented at the event by the Director of Nutrition, Ministry of Health, Dr Chris Isokpunwu, expressed his gratitude to R4D and its funder, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) for their hard work and support since the project began in 2016, till its official end today.
“It is my pleasure to express my gratitude to R4D; and to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the USAID who have contributed to the funding of the project through R4D; for making life better for us.
“We’re looking forward to more opportunities for collaboration, the Federal Ministry of Health continues to cherish the contribution of partners who are genuinely committed to ensuring that healthcare development, delivery, and management is delivered to all Nigerians with good dividends.
“I cannot leave without asking for more, and this time I’m not just asking for more in the area of healthcare financing but for another critical building block of the healthcare system, Health Information System.
“What is not mentioned is not known. We need to strengthen health information so that decisions will be based on reliable dependent and accurate data. It is only then that we can know whether or not we are making progress,” he said.
Also speaking at the event, the Country Director of R4D, Dr. Hope Uweja, stated that although the project was concluded in December 2022, the event of today was a means to look back on all the work done and the effectiveness of the project in the lives of the poor and vulnerable in Nigeria.
“The project ended in December 2022, so what we are doing today is looking back on the project and stating what the purpose of the project has been, the challenges we faced, the results, and also the lessons. And so today, we brought together the key stakeholders and the leading partners that worked with us on this project.
“The first thing we want to acknowledge today is that the project brought out new ways to fund access to healthcare for the poor and vulnerable and we actually leveraged on the National Health Bill Act of 2014 that made provision for the takeoff of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund.
“That fund is a new source of funding that enables the Federal Government to give the minimum basic healthcare package to the poor and vulnerable, particularly children under five and pregnant women,” he said.
He also stated that the project helped to properly manage healthcare funds and effectively determine the beneficiaries from the fund.
“One key gain from the project is that it has enabled the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund to be well managed and for the results to be acknowledged to the extent that we can now determine the number of beneficiaries of that project. Not only that but to also look at how more value can be gotten for money,” he said.
Uweja added that the organization has begun work on a new healthcare financing project with the Ministry of Health called the Primary Healthcare Financing Technical Assistance Program.