NIGERIA – Lagos Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has stated that his administration’s priority is to build a world–class health system.

Sanwo-Olu made the remarks at the Y2021 Health Forum in Lagos, which was themed “The Art of Building a World-Class Health System.”

According to Nigerian News Agency, the State Government organized the program in collaboration with the State Health Services Commission (HSC).

Sanwo-Olu, speaking on behalf of Jaji, State Government Secretary, stated that the establishment of a strong health system would complement the state’s desire for megacity status and a 21st century economy.

He stated that, as expressed in the THEME’s agenda, the development of the health sector to adequately meet the health needs of the population in an effective and efficient manner has been a priority of his management.

To achieve this goal, he believes that all health facilities at the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels must improve their delivery capacity.

He went on to say that it also implied the availability of modern health equipment, qualified and motivated health personnel, and a conducive environment for private sector participation in the health sector.

The governor stated that his administration has demonstrated its commitment by hiring competent healthcare workers, upskilling and building capacity in critical areas of healthcare service, improving wellness, and upgrading facilities.

As a government, we will continue to play the role expected of us in building a world-class healthcare system that will not only curb medical tourism out of the country, but also enhance the foreign exchange earning potential of foreigners seeking medical care abroad our health facilities,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu praised healthcare workers for their courage, passion and dedication to saving lives, especially during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

As critical stakeholders in the health sector, I ask you to continue to do your best at all times and in all situations so that together we can build a sustainable, efficient and effective health system for all Lagosians,” he said.

Furthermore, Health Commissioner Prof. Akin Abayomi stated that the state was working on developing specialized facilities within general hospitals.

What we need to do is develop those specialized capabilities in Lagos and make Lagos a recognized destination for expertise in any health care discipline,” he said.

He stated that the government’s approach to health-care transformation would not be limited to the construction of public health facilities.

According to Abayomi, the state will establish a reference, standard, and regulatory framework to ensure that the private health sector follows international best practices as well.

The commissioner advised the HSC to devise a strategy that would position Lagos as a healthcare hub for healthcare specialists.

Similarly, former Lagos State Health Commissioner Dr. Leke Pitan advised the state to strengthen public-private partnerships, noting that it was the most sustainable way to develop the health sector.

Furthermore, Dr. Jide Idris, former Lagos State Health Commissioner, stated that the government should act as a facilitator, advising that bottlenecks be removed to facilitate the sector’s development.

To fill the gaps, Dr. Atinuke Onayiga, Chairperson of the Health Services Commission, stated that a gap analysis would be conducted at the commission as well as at each of the 28 secondary health facilities.

She stated that this would assist all health facilities in building momentum to improve service and provide long-term innovative efforts using technology.

According to Onayiga, the forum allows hospital and HSC leaders to brainstorm solutions to challenges facing the state’s secondary health care system.

According to her, the platform should also encourage interprofessional collaboration among all levels of the health care workforce.

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