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Dr Nkechika calls on Nigerian Association of Residents Doctors (NARD) to deploy their expertise to all levels of Health Care Service.

The Director General and Chief Executive Officer of the Delta State Contributory Health Commission, Dr. Ben Nkechika, has called on the Nigerian Residents Doctors Association members to detour their expertise to all levels of Health Care service in the State through Telemedicine.

Dr. Nkechika made this call on Thursday at the on-going 40th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) during his speech titled: Accelerating the progress towards Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria: Opportunities and Challenges in the era of a pandemic: “The Delta State Perspective” at the Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara.

In his presentation, the DG said “I want to encourage the National Association of Resident Doctors that though their call of duty is at the tertiary level of care, as much as possible, a specialist at the Teaching hospital should be able to deploy clinical expertise to other levels of health care through Telemedicine, in such a way that a primary healthcare center, or a secondary health care facility can reach out to a specialist residence in a teaching hospital for technical guidance for a patient before the patient is able to get physical access referral to a tertiary facility”.

Speaking on the journey towards achieving Universal Health Coverage in Delta State, ‘the journey has been challenging but successful.’ He noted that target is not just access to health care, but access to quality health care for all Deltans especially those in rural hard to reach communities, at the same standard as available in major cities.

“We are achieving that through a well-designed, strategic and structured health insurance program. One of these program activity, is a public/private partnership framework where well established private hospitals are encouraged with a simple financing loan from the Bank of Industry, to set up facilities in very rural communities, leveraging on the Health Insurance Scheme that ensures patient get quality Health care services no matter their socioeconomic status or geographical location.”

Speaking on lessons learnt from the covid 19 pandemic, “all counties of the world have experienced the consequences of neglecting or not giving due attention to their health care systems. I hope that we will develop the lessons learnt from the pandemic and use it to redesign our health care system leveraging on our unique expertise and ingenuity. We have the capacity and the capability, and most importantly, we have a vibrant Human-Resource-for-Health which if properly incentivized with adequate training, will deliver quality health care service all the time”, the DG/CEO said