The shortage of health workforce and the uneven distribution of available skilled healthcare professionals have been identified as reasons for poor healthcare service delivery in Nigeria. The Minister of State for Health, Osagie Ehanire, called on governments at all levels and private sector alike to develop human resources that would enhance the provision of quality healthcare services in the country. Mr. Ehanire was speaking in Abuja on Tuesdayat ongoing Human Resources for Health Conference with the theme: “Strengthening Human Resources for Health Towards Revitalization of Functional Primary Healthcare Centres in Nigeria.” The conference was organised by the Federal ministry of health in collaboration with international health partners and key players across the national health sector to discuss and formulate relevant polices to strengthen the Nigerian health workforce for a viable primary healthcare centre in the country.
The conference is expected to proffer solutions and implement such in appropriate manner towards achieving the constant availability of health workforce that is required for effective and responsive health service delivery at all levels in the country. Mr. Ehanire noted that the three-day conference that started July 18, was convened to raise awareness on the health workforce challenges and issues hindering service delivery and the attainment of health national targets including that of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as to address the shortage of human resources in the health sector. He said all initiatives introduced to achieve Universal Health Coverage would be feasible if there were adequate human resources to render health services. “All the initiatives to achieve Universal Health Coverage will be appropriate if the right number of people with the right skills is in the right place at the right time with the right attitude to provide the right service at the right cost. Strengthening the workforce is therefore a logical step in the right direction which is the main thrust for the 3rd National Human Resources for Health Conference 2017,” Mr.Ehanire said. Also speaking at the event on the challenges facing the nation’s health workforce in the country, Ibadat Dhillion, representative, World Health Organisation, said Nigeria contributes highly to the number of migrant doctors and nurses to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD countries. He said Nigeria’s though health centres has been suffering man power loss, Nigeria supplies at least 25 percent of medical personnel in Jamaica, as well to OECD countries as the number of migrant health personel to OECD has gone up to 60 percent in the last few decades. Mr. Ibadat stressed that Nigeria needs to focus on reviving its health sector as health is a multiplier for inclusive economic growth.

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