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‘Competition leads to higher productivity’

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Wale Alabi

Dr. Wale Alabi is the Chief Executive Officer, Global Health Project and Resources (GHPR), and the Project Director of the Nigerian Healthcare Excellence Award (NHEA). In this interview with ADAKU ONYENUCHEYA, he talks about the fourth edition of the award and its importance to the Nigerian health sector and the various stakeholders.

What is the Nigerian Healthcare Excellence Award (NHEA) all about?
The Nigerian Healthcare Excellence Award (NHEA) is an annual event, which celebrates distinguished personalities, and organisations, who have contributed immensely to the growth of the Nigerian Healthcare Sector. The fourth edition is scheduled for today at the Eko Hotel and Suites.

What are the award categories and on what grounds are the nominees elected?
The award is divided into four major categories, which are the Healthcare Delivery Services, Biomedical Technology, Pharmaceuticals and Special Awards. The nominees are selected after a thorough screening process, which includes: stakeholders’ nomination, physical site inspections, verifications of documentation and electronic voting among others.

How would the award strengthen the healthcare sector of Nigeria?
The award has stimulated awareness and focus on quality and standard of services provided by various stakeholders in the industry. It has been shown that increased competition leads to higher productivity, improved quality and efficiency. This usually results in reduced costs and increased patients’ satisfaction.

How would the award drive healthcare providers to provide optimal services, following the disagreement among healthcare professionals of various fields?
The award provides a unique platform to bring all health stakeholders under one roof. All professionals in the sector are well represented. It also brings together both private and public players.

In your own opinion, how can the country’s healthcare system strive to curb medical tourism, and what do you think are the factors responsible for the dwindling sector?
Policy improvement, increase investment, technology and innovation. This NHEA platform stimulates quality improvement and innovation in the health space. This will also attract investment into the health sector.

What should be done by the various stakeholders (private and public) and the winners of the award to bring back the confidence of Nigerians in our healthcare facilities?
The winners of the award should showcase themselves as ambassadors of world class healthcare in the country. They should keep improving in the process and quality of care to their clients.

In terms of Nigeria producing its own vaccines to curb diseases in the country, what should be done to implement this?
The leading pharmaceutical companies should collaborate with agencies of government to build capacity locally to meet most of our local needs. Federal government should provide intervention funds to all the W.H.O certified pharmaceutical manufacturers in Nigeria. In order to produce affordable vaccines for Nigerians and other West African countries, a local content law should be passed at the national assembly for the health sector just like what is obtained in the oil and gas industry.



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