The Edo State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Obehi Akoria, has said the state is recording remarkable progress with regulation of the healthcare system, reassuring that the government remains committed to ensuring the delivery of efficient and quality healthcare services to Edo people.
Akoria, who spoke to journalists in Benin City, as part of activities to commemorate her one year in office as a Commissioner said the government is working to partner with owners and operators of healthcare facilities in the private sector to strengthen the regulation of the sector.
She said, “We are focusing on our human resources capacity building. Alongside that, we are coming all out to work with owners and operators of healthcare facilities in the private sector to strengthen the regulation of that sector.
“For us in Edo state, regulation is no longer going to be about paying fees; we are not interested in collecting money. Standards, accountability, and accreditation will drive regulation as we advance. We are focusing on these aspects because quality healthcare cannot happen in an unregulated space. Why did I mention private facilities? Because a large portion of our first point of call when people fall sick are the private facilities.
“We have engaged the services of PharmAccess Foundation Nigeria, a Dutch-based Not-for-profit foundation. We have been working assiduously, developing standards. In the next couple of days, our practitioners will receive letters from us. We have also been building the ministry's website to engage more proactively in a broader base with the public (both within and outside Edo State and Nigeria) towards improving healthcare.”
The Commissioner added, “Very importantly, we are expanding the frontiers to create feedback channels that enable us to get real-time feedback on how we perform. That is one of the things we have put in place in most of the Hospitals, if not all, in Edo state. We now have banners in Government owned Hospitals, telling the client, ‘Please, if you are dissatisfied with the services you get, call this number’. We have desk officers who collate the report that we get daily, and we provide them feedback. We will intervene as we get this feedback.
“We are mindful of the quality, type, and pricing of our medicines at our public healthcare facilities which is why we have done a lot of work to be sure that our medicines are not overpriced and that our clients continue to get quality medicines.”