In this piece, GOLOK NANMWA, our Plateau State Correspondent writes better healthcare services can be provided to the people through relevant partnership with private sectors but adds that safety of health workers is very important.

Health is wealth, so says a popular saying. It also added that a healthy nation is a wealthy nation. It us this medical axiom that the Plateau State government seeks to establish through the provision of healthcare facilities to the people of the state.
The government of Plateau State has expressed its determination to ensure that the people of the state enjoy quality healthcare services. Governor Simon Lalong had said his administration which he described as a caring one would ensure that accessible, affordable, high quality healthcare are available to citizens of the state.
Public healthcare, he said, must be well managed by doctors, nurses and healthcare must be well managed by doctors, nurses and healthworkers to ensure that every patient is cared for through a decentralised area based, people cantered primary healthcare system.
He said his administration would replicate the current National Health Insurance Scheme in the state with the view to providing affordable health cover to civil servants and their families. He said he would conduct a full review of the nature and scale of vacancies in the public health system and work with tertiary institutions to fill Human resource gaps.
“We would build specialist hospitals in each of the three Senatorial Zones across the state , while upgrading facilities in all cottage and General hospitals. Our government shall ensure that management teams in public hospitals are qualified and effective by applying a quality rating system to all hospitals and Primary Health Care systems. Our government will establish a state Primary Healthcare Development Agency.
“This administration would create a system of incentives that would attract the best medical personnel and maximize brian drain. We would also make concerted efforts to get accreditation for postgraduate training in specialized areas like surgery, paediatrics, ophthalmology, obstetrics and gynaecology, amongst others. Our administration would provide counterpart funding for all health related programs so that the state can benefit from donor driven programmes”, he said.
Recently Lalong, again vowed to support private partnership participation (PPP), in the State health sector in order to provide quality healthcare services of the people of the state. He stated this at the official commissioning of Anwar Specialist Hospital, privately built by Ustaz Harisu Salihu Abubakar, in Jos the State capital.
Governor Lalong who was represented by the deputy chief of staff Government House, Barrister Yusuf Gambo Hawaja, said “As Government, we are committed to strengthening the healthcare institutions and their services in line with the Government’s agenda. Our governor is a man who cares about its citizens. Healthcare is a critical sector that we cannot ignore, and we will not play politics with the health of our People..,” he added.
The governor said establishing Anwar Specialist Hospital and equipping it with modern facilities is a commendable initiative because “it targets the health concern of our people at the grassroots”.
The proprietor of the hospital Ustaz Harisu Salihu said the initiative was conceived having considered the health need of the People. He said: “I first established a school, a health technology institution some seven years back and the idea was to see how to assist our community in the area of health.”
According to him the hospital is equipped with state of the art facilities a thirty bed capacity and cost more than fifty million Naira. He also said: “Services will be rendered at reasonably subsidized rates. Forty staff have been employed to also assist the Government in job creation”. He appreciated Governor Lalong led administration for according to him provided the enabling environment to accomplished the building of the hospital.
It could also be recalled that the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, had recently said it had selected three rural communities in Plateau State for the commencement of its community Based health Insurance scheme. NHIS cordinator in plateau state, Halima Zakari who stated this when she paid an advocacy visit to the office of the Plateau State head of service , Izam Azi said the community based scheme will be flagged off in Pankshin Local Government Area , shiwer in kanke LGa and Zawan in Jos South Local Government.
She said the scheme had visited a number of communities in the state to expand its coverage so as to reach out to people in the rural areas. In his response, Plateau State head of service , Izam Azi said that the state government is working assiduously to key into policies and programmes including the NHIS and commended the scheme for selecting the rural communities for its pioneer community insurance schemes.
It could be recalled that during the outbreak of lassa fever in the country , the Governor Lalong led administration trained 66 laboratory scientist and technicians on effective ways of diagnosing and handling the diseases.
State commissioner for health , Dr Kunden Deyin had told newsmen recently at the opening of a workshop on the viral diseases. He then said that the objective of the training was to help bring succour to the public and avert further mortality arising from lassa fever in the state. The workshop is to broaden the knowledge of participants about the disease and ensure containment as well as promote standard precautions.
According to Devin , there is need to safeguard the lives of health workers through the use of personal protective equipment while carrying out diagnoses. Our correspondent also gathered that some health care centers in Langtang South Local Government of the state are currently been renovated and re-equipped by the state government inorder to meet the medical needs of the people of the LGA.

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