Universal Health Coverage has become the new buzz word in health care circles in Nigeria today. But it has yet to be realised that clinicians and public health people across the spectrum have got to engage each other very closely, especially at the community level, in other for it to succeed. Family physicians, community health physicians and general practitioners have to come together more closely to work the principles and components of Primary Health Care, for Universal Health Coverage to be achieved.
All cadres of community community health workers need to be supported and motivated by Family physicians, general practitioners and community health physicians in Nigeria, before progress can be made. The silos mentality has to be jettisoned if quality health is to get to everyone everywhere. This is the main challenge for Nigeria in my own opinion. All the players are in place to do an excellent job, but they must break down the barriers of suspicion, exclusivity and lack of cooperation. Health insurance is in chaos, because pride of place is not given to Primary health care and Primary Care practitioners.
And of course universal access to health information for all is a sine qua non for universal health coverage. We are just discovering in another global forum that there is gross misunderstaning of the central role that access to Primary Health Care and all its structures, plays in the succesful implementaion of universal health coverage. There is also gross misunderstand of the difference between Primay Care and Primary Health Care. (if there is) Only proper dissemination of accurate health information can correct all these anomalies so that we will all be on the same page
HIFA profile: Olayinka O. Ayankogbe is Senior Lecturer in Family Medicine and Head, Family Medicine Unit, Department Of Community Health and Primary care, College of Medicine, University of Lagos and also Consultant in charge of Family Medicine Unit, Primary Care Health Center, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Pakoto, Ogun state. His interests are in Primary Health Care, Adolescent care, quality improvement and Public/Private partnerships and ICPC-2 (International Classification of Primary Care). He is a HIFA Country Representative.
Email: yinayanks AT yahoo.com