This statement was delivered on Wednesday in Abuja by Dr. Felix Ogedegbe, Chairman of the National Emergency Medical Treatment Committee (NEMTC), at a bi-weekly ministerial media conference that was moderated by Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health. He claims that the National Emergency Medical Service and Ambulance System (NEMSAS) committee was established and given the task of implementing an ambulance service for Nigeria four years ago. He claimed that the goal was to get Nigeria to the stage where it could join other nations with national emergency medical services.
According to Ogedegbe, this system would allow Nigerians who required emergency medical attention to call a three-digit number and receive assistance right away. The chairman stated that the country was notorious for having poor health indicators that led to high death rates, which were frequently caused by people being unable to get timely medical care. “The services will assist the public anytime they require immediate emergency care.”
The project is to help people who are at risk of death or disability.
Many experiments have been conducted in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the pilot state, and a call to 112 was sent directly to the emergency communication center, which subsequently informed the medical dispatch system to send an ambulance to the scene. “This will take place in the FCT, and specific private and public hospitals that collaborate effectively have been chosen as emergency treatment centers, together with specific private and public emergency ambulance service providers. Here, there are important issues. At-need payment is not required for those who are in danger of dying or becoming disabled.”
“We hope and pray that all of the lessons we will gain from the pilot phase can be utilized to then spread out this system in the rest of the country,” the statement reads. “They have to be able to call on the ambulance and be attended to.” However, he advised all governments to follow the FCT’s example of preparation and make sure that all necessary structures and new medications are competent and equipped for an accelerated deployment.
The program is to promote quality healthcare in the nation.
A few private and public hospitals have been carefully selected to launch the program by October 14 of this year, and Abuja, the federal capital, has been chosen as the program’s pilot state. Two states from each of the nation’s six geopolitical zones have also been chosen from among the twelve states. The program’s objectives are to increase access to high-quality healthcare and lower Nigeria’s rate of sudden deaths. It is a private initiative that works in conjunction with the federal ministry of health.
It is important for ambulance response times to be as quick as possible in order to prevent more severe complications and death. When a person suffers a heart attack, for example, every minute that passes without treatment can mean permanent damage to the heart muscle. Similarly, when a stroke victim arrives at the hospital, the sooner they can receive treatment, the better their chances are of making a full recovery. In general, the faster an ambulance can get to a patient, the better the outcome is likely to be. This is why it is so important for ambulance services to have well-trained staff and adequate resources. By ensuring that ambulance response times are as quick as possible, we can help save lives and prevent serious complications.
NEMSAS and others should provide urgent health services to Nigerians.
According to NAN, NEMSAS is the operational arm of the third disbursement gateway, which the National Health Act (NHA) authorized, and is responsible for allocating 5% of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund for Emergency Medical Treatment to Nigerians in need of urgent medical treatment. It tackles a significant flaw in Nigeria’s health system, which does not provide for physical or financial access to first aid or medical care in the event of any form of emergency posing a threat to life. Additionally, the Federal Ministry of Health launched the Implementation Manual and signed a multi-sectoral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in February to operationalize NEMSAS.
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