The Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (retd.), has said the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has approved plans to reform the military healthcare system.
He added that a consulting firm had been hired to recommend how this could be achieved.
Speaking at the Defence Health Maintenance Limited’s stakeholders meeting in Abuja on Monday, Magashi lamented that the military healthcare system had lost shape, saying only a reform could help revamp the Armed Forces medical system.
He was represented by the Permanent Secretary, of the Ministry of Defence, Ibrahim Kana.
He said, “We have got the approval of the president to reform the entire health system of the military. At our last meeting with all the services, we all agreed the health system was in need of reform in the medical system. As such, a consulting firm has been hired to take a deep look into the health system. The preliminary report has been submitted before the end of the year, we shall review the report.
“For people who have been in Nigeria 40 years back, you will know that the system of the armed forces was not exactly what it is today. We hope to bring it back and ensure it plays a vital role in the delivery of healthcare delivery in the country through this reform.”
He added that with the reforms, the number of interns would be increased, adding that there would also be massive recruitment into the healthcare system.
The minister said, “We will also increase the number of interns in all our medical facilities in the country, the increase in the number of interns means service delivery in our hospitals will improve.
“I have approached the Head of Service for the massive recruitment into our health facilities.”
The Managing Director of the DHML, Azeez Afolayan, said he was working to improve healthcare delivery for retired and serving personnel.
He said, “Our goal is to improve healthcare delivery through health insurance coverage to the serving and retired personnel of the armed forces of Nigeria and their families. This is the reason the DHML exists.
“Some of the bottlenecks already identified in the operations of the scheme are in the billings and claims system. Some others worry about the eligibility for access to care under the scheme, while others have to do with the ability or inability of HCPs to ensure financial prudence in the management of funds allotted to them for the health care of serving and retired personnel and their families under the program.”
He also said the DHML had concluded a 5-year retrospective study of disease patterns among enrollees earlier this year, adding that subsequent research, pairing disease patterns with expenditure, was almost ready.