President Muhammadu Buhari said on Tuesday his administration would embark on a comprehensive health sector reform aimed at providing a world-class health care system capable of responding effectively to future pandemics in the country.
The president made the pledge when he received the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 End-of-Year Report at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.”
He said: “For Nigeria to enjoy a lasting legacy from the huge investment in the health sector, a comprehensive Health Sector Reform that will achieve the following, amongst others, must be instituted. The objectives include to:
– Build the human and institutional capacity to provide a world-class 21st-century health care system, capable of responding effectively to future pandemics;
– Develop a viable strategy for our primary and tertiary healthcare system;
– Re-align institutional mandates and functions within the health sector for effectiveness and efficiency;
– Distinguish policy and coordination from implementation responsibilities; and
– Strengthen the statutory and regulatory capacities within the health sector.’’
Buhari, who has extended the mandate of the PTF till March 2021, expressed concern over reported surge in the confirmed COVID-19 cases and the bid for vaccines.
He said recent reports had indicated that Nigeria is now facing a rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases across the country.
The president added: “New epicentres have been identified and the nation cannot afford to lose the gains of the last nine months. I have critically evaluated the situation and remain convinced that urgent measures have to be taken to halt the spread and the attendant fatalities.”
He, therefore, stressed the need to speedily and strategically access and administer the COVID-19 vaccine in a safe, effective, and timely manner.