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FCTA inaugurates committee for emergency medical treatment services

June, 2021 | By Nkechi Isa | ||

Federal Capital Territory Emergency Medical Treatment Committee (FCT-EMTC) has been formally inaugurated. With the inauguration, the process of a functional emergency medical treatment within 24 hours before payment in FCT has been set in motion. Inaugurating the committee, Acting Secretary, Health and Human Services Secretariat (HHSS), Dr. Mohammed Kawu said the FCT-EMTC would greatly reduce the unacceptably high mortality rate in FCT.

He said that the FCT-EMTC was keying into the basic health care coverage adopted in 2015 by the World Health Assembly by providing financial risk protection in the course of assisting in emergency medical services. Kawu said: "Nigeria's commitment to the 2030 SDGs is demonstrated by the passage of the 2014 National Health Act. The Act ensures the provision of basic minimum package of health services and emergency medical treatment. The emergency medical treatment is one of the three gateways of the fund. It is funded by 5% of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF). The positive outcome of emergency treatment is the quality and promptness of the services."

Assuring on the commitment of Minister of FCT to the well-being of residents, Dr Kawu explained that all necessary provisions are being made to ensure the subsequent functioning of FCT-EMTC. The Acting Secretary added that the committee, which will ensure the optimal coordination of emergency treatment in the Territory, is composed of relevant stakeholders of both human and material resources in line with international best practices.

Presenting an overview of the Emergency Medical Treatment gateway, the Director, Medical Diagnostics, HHSS, Dr. Abubakar Ahmadu informed on the high maternal mortality ratio in FCT, put at 512 per 100,000 births; high under Under- five mortality rates, at 132 per 1000 live births and one of the highest road traffic death rates in the world put at 52.4% per 100, 000. Dr. Ahmadu blamed these grim statistics on poor health-seeking behaviour (late presentation), high out-of-pocket payment for health services and no coordinated ambulance service to optimize access to care, among other factors.

The Director explained that the BHCPF aims to ensure the provision of a basic minimum package of health services, strengthen the primary healthcare systems and provide emergency medical treatment to significantly move Nigeria towards achieving universal health coverage. According to Dr. Ahmadu, Section 2 of the National Health Act 2014 provides three sources of funding for healthcare in the country: 1% from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, grants from international donors/partners and 5% for emergency medical treatment from the 1% Basic Health Fund.

When operational, residents can reach emergency call center on 112, leading to an ambulance service where the patient is stabilized before being taken to hospital. The patient enjoys treatment for 48 hours before payment. The Emergency Medical Treatment is to be tentatively flagged off by President Muhammadu Buhari on the 29 July, 2021. Meanwhile, ambulance services will commence by the third quarter of this year in two states---FCT and Nasarawa state. The programme will be reviewed in the fourth quarter before on-boarding to other states.

In a goodwill message to the inaugural meeting of the committee, Director, FCT Health Insurance Scheme (FHIS), Dr. Mohammed Danfulani, said it was sad to see a patient brought in at the back of a car or brought in dead. He said they may have survived if they received EMT. Dr. Danfulani promised to support the EMT.

In another goodwill message, a Consultant to the World Bank, Dr Olugbenga Omonije said how the services are delivered will be the hallmark of whether ''we are doing the right thing or not.'' However, be assured on the Bank's support for the programme. Members of the committee include a representative from the HHSS FCT- HIS, NMA, NANNM, GMD, AGPMPN, NEMA, NPF, NURTW, FCTA Press Corps and Committee of Medical Directors in FCT. Other members are representative of FCTA's Director of Information, FCTA Blood Transfusion Service, Department of Treasury and FCTA Primary Healthcare Board.

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