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FG to revamp tertiary health institutions to curb medical tourism

Osagie Ehanire-2

In a bid to curb medical tourism, the federal government has inaugurated a national committee to rejig tertiary care services and reform the health sector across the country.

Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health inaugurated the National Tertiary Health Institutions Standards Committee (NTHISC) in Abuja and charged the committee to refocus tertiary institutions to become centres of excellence in health care in the next four years.

Ehanire stressed that it was imperative to stem medical tourism which according to him, costs Nigeria billions of naira annually.

In constituting this committee, he said the federal ministry of health carefully selected seasoned health care professionals with expertise in different aspects of the health care ecosystem, supported by the statutory regulatory bodies in the health sector.

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He informed that the committee will be chaired by Abiodun Phillips, “a Professor of Paediatrics, distinguished scholar, researcher and experienced health administrator will steer the team with sterling leadership to ensure the mandates are achieved during the four-year tenure.”

“It is therefore important to reiterate that the Nation looks forward to a positive shift in the status of our tertiary health services through the contribution of the Committee”, Ehanire said.

According to the provisions of the National Health Act 2014, the committee will set standards and criteria for allocation of funds from the Federal Government to tertiary health institutions and monitor their utilisation.

Other functions of the Committee are to; advise the Minister on matters affecting the establishment of tertiary hospitals in Nigeria;

Prepare periodic master plans for the balanced and coordinated development of tertiary hospitals in Nigeria; Establish minimum standards to be attained by the various tertiary health facilities in the nation and also to inspect and accredit such facilities.

Make relevant investigations and recommendations to the Federal and State Governments on tertiary health care services in the national interest.

Advise the Federal Government on the financial needs, both recurrent and capital, of tertiary health services and in particular, investigate and study the financial needs for training, research and services and make appropriate recommendations, among others.