FG set to reform armed forces healthcare service – The Sun Nigeria – Daily Sun

From Molly Kilete, Abuja
Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi, Thursday said the Federal Government has concluded plans to reform the healthcare system of the Nigerian armed forces.
The reformation which include the construction of a state of the art military hospital according to Magashi, would go a long way to cater the health needs of wounded soldiers, veterans, members of their families and the general public.
Magashi, made this known in his keynote address at the Needs Assessment and Strategic Review Project Kick-Off Workshop on Reforming Military Health Services held in Nigeria held in Abuja.
He reiterated the need for a coordinated and unified armed forces healthcare delivery system to tackle the enormous health challenges.
The minister while noting that the healthcare system was an important component of the reform of the ministry and the armed forces approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, said the Ministry has resolved to review the armed forces health system, identify gaps and reposition it to better service delivery.
He said that as obtainable in other parts of the world, the new Ministry of Defence “will have a mix of military and civilian personnel working together in an integrated manner to provide multi-disciplinary advice and expertise for an effective management of the Ministry by the Honourable Minister of Defence”.
“The armed forces health system is bedevilled with numerous challenges necessitating the need to engage a consultant to carry out a comprehensive needs assessment.
“The essence is to review the state of our facilities, dearth in medical personnel, inadequate equipment and parallel health care delivery services with a view to upgrading our facilities, recruiting more personnel and to boost the morale of our armed forces and civilians alike.
“My vision is to put in place mechanisms that will lead to the establishment of a world class military hospital akin to Walter Reed Military Hospital in the USA.
“It will successfully manage officers and soldiers injured in battle as well as provide serving personnel, veterans, their families and indeed Nigerians quality healthcare services,’’.
In his address, the Permanent Secretary, Dr Ibrahim Kana, while noting that a number of military hospitals across the country requires overhaul and reform in terms of facilities and manpower, said that the Nigerian military Health Management Organisation (HMO) had been in the forefront of providing universal health coverage to both serving and retired personnel.
Kana, who said there were gaps that exist despite of the successes so far recorded bythe military in healthcare delivery, said “Now we are focusing on operational efficiency in order for us to reposition, the armed forces health facilities for optimal performance.
“We want to see a situation whereby we begin to go back to the olden days where we have the core medical, whereby the armed forces actually recruit medical students and other students from the university so they can begin to condition their minds.
“So when they graduate, they go to the academy, get trained and fall into service with their uniforms. That is our vision again as part of the reform,’’.
The permanent secretary who commended the armed forces for playing an active role at ensuring effective healthcare delivery in the country during COVID-19 crisis, noted the role of the Nigerian Air Force who provided oxygen and emergency ventilator to medical facilities across the country for COVID-19 patients.
He said that the Nigerian army was also involved in providing free medical services across the country during the pandemic while the Nigerian army has also been offering free surgical services, particularly in hard to reach areas.
He said “We know for some time now the country has been bedevilled by insurgency, banditry, and other all forms of insecurity, thereby making it difficult for people in rural areas, and in particular in those areas to access healthcare.
“The Nigerian armed forces being what they are, actually rose to the equation again to continue to provide services, including health services.
“Nigerian Armed Forces Medical Services did not only limit its services to military alone, they have continued to provide services civilians during the peacekeeping operations,’’.
Earlier in his address, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, who while noting that the reformation plan of the ministry aligned with the vision of the armed forces to enhance the morale component of war fighting, said the initiative would go a long way in stabilizing the society.
The CDS, who said that healthcare and emotional wellbeing of personnel remained critical to the moral component, noted that the project was long overdue especially when the armed forces have been engaged in internal security operations for decades, adding that the impact of these operations on personnel was unimaginable.
He said “And I think that at the conclusion of this project, the impact and value that it will bring to the wellbeing of members of the armed forces is better imagine,’’
“I believe this project ought to have been yesterday,the intention is to optimize medical management of our armed forces”.
The workshop which held at the Transcorp Hilton hotel, was attended by foreign partners including the representatives of the US Embassy, World Bank, Uk foreign office as well as service chiefs, of the Army, Navy and Air Force.

Sun News Online Team

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© 2019 The Sun Nigeria – Managed by Netsera.
© 2019 The Sun Nigeria – Managed by Netsera.