DTSG steps up efforts to address medical tourism

By Donald Ojebo

In a bid to reverse the trend in which patients travel out of the State/Country for the purpose of receiving medical care, the Delta State Government has inaugurated a 6-Man State Medical Audit/Quality Assurance Team with the view to reposition health care delivery in the State.

The Delta Sate Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mordi Ononye who inaugurated the Delta State Ministry of Health Medical Audit/Quality Assurance Team today in his office charge them to go all out and do the needful with the view to reversing medical tourism trend in Delta State.

Dr. Ononye while addressing the Team disclosed that the capability of Dr. (Mrs.) Minnie Oseji, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry who is also the Chairman of the Team is not in doubt and that as a dogged fighter who is given to hard work expressed assurance that the Team will succeed in this assignment.

Outlining the terms of reference for the members of the Team, the Commissioner said that there shall be submission of annual report and recommendation for awards to hospitals that are excelling in quality assurance while hospitals that are consistently not meeting up to expectations might have their headship removed for better performances.

He advised the Chairman to coopt into the Team persons who might not necessarily be Medical Directors of hospitals but have inputs that can enhance their work into the Team.

Dr. Ononye said there would be no room for excuses on non-performance as funds have been made available for the Team to carry out their assignments even as he assured that more funds will be released if the need arises.

On her part, the Chairman of the Team, Dr. (Mrs.) Minnie Oseji who is also the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Asaba thanked the Commissioner for finding the members of the Team worthy to serve in such capacity and expressed delight on the release of funds for the Team to carry out their assignment.

She disclosed that to reverse medical tourism three things are involved viz: Private Public Participation (PPP), Intramural Practice and Quality Assurance which in other words are funding, innovation and quality control stating that these would enable Deltans and residents alike who patronize the State hospitals to get the same level of medical care obtainable in any part of the world.

Dr. Oseji added that due to the engagements the Ministry had with the expert that has been providing them mentorship and interest so far shown, the State was recommended to Joint Commissioner International (JCI) the body which gives global certification to hospitals when the body indicated interest in coming to Nigeria and was looking for States to partner with.

The terms of reference of the State Medical Audit/Quality Assurance Team include planning of medical audit/quality assurance programmes and submission of proposals for funding; coordination of technical and financial support to hospitals applying for accreditation from JCI and/or other quality assurance accrediting bodies; organization of on-site visits to hospitals to assess compliance with medical audit/quality assurance standards among others.

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