The Federal Government has linked its inability to meet the Millennium Development Goals to poor policies in the sector.
Other reasons are poor coordination, dearth of infrastructure, lack of universal health coverage and out-of-pocket health expenditure.
The Executive Director of National Primary Healthcare Development Authority, Dr. Ado Muhammed, gave the explanation in Abuja at an interactive session with stakeholders, organised by the General Electric Healthcare.
Muhammed noted that, with the lessons learnt, there would be no excuses for failure as we transit to the Sustainable Development Goals.
He said, “There are issues that have prevented Nigeria from attaining the MDGs and these are both micro and macro issues, some outside the health sector, while some are within the sector. “But largely 40-50 per cent is outside the control of the health sector and these are things that have to do with the health system strengthening itself.”
Muhammad added that the issues came up because the government was looking at the three key components in terms of physical access to health care facilities and the ability of the heads of households to be able to access service for themselves.
He lamented that in Nigeria, almost 70 per cent of expenditure in the health sector is out-of-pocket, a situation that has impacted the quality of health care.
The NPHCDA ED said, “As we transit into the SDGs, it is important that the mistakes that were made with the MDGs should not repeat itself; otherwise, by 2030, we will still be reviewing how we can fast track again. But we shouldn’t be fast tracking the SDGs. We had an opportunity to fast tract the MDGs but should have learnt enough lessons from the MGDs and not to start giving excuses for fast-tracking again.”
He suggested that as Nigeria transits into the SDGs, the focus should not be only on building facilities “because as we all know, improved facility does not translate to improvement in health outcomes, but the priority should be on those key drivers that are high impact, low cost and result-oriented.”
Earlier, the Chief Marketing Officer of Life Care Solutions, GE Healthcare, Ashutosh Banerjee, said the GE was committed to sustainable health care and driving efficiency in the continuum of care.
“The way we look at the continuum of care is not in isolation. Continuum of care is not just about care at the primary levels but also at the tertiary levels and it means not just having the equipment but also having the training and monitoring.