The Federal Government is set to rollout the National Emergency Medical Service and Ambulance System (NEMSAS) with the signing of a multi-sectoral Memorandum of Understanding for its operationalization and launch of the implementation manual.
Speaking at the Signing Ceremony on Monday in Abuja, the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire said the program is part of the continuous effort of the Federal Ministry of Health to respond to unmet needs in life-threatening medical emergencies.
The Honourable Minister said the scenario ranges from injury and illness across the human life course, regardless of gender, age group or circumstance, and deliver prompt care on site, and transportation to accredited centres, to enter the health system for definitive care. According to him, the service is without financial conditions imposed on the patient within the first 48 hours.
“Service given this way removes barriers and saves lives in highly time-dependent emergency, as part of the Basic Minimum Package of Healthcare Services and Emergency Medical Treatment promised in the 2014 National Health Act.”
Similarly, he added that NEMSAS is the operational arm of the third disbursement gateway, designated in the National Health Act with 5% of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund for Emergency Medical Treatment.
“This is meant to provide urgent health service to citizens at the moment and place of great health distress. To have the impact intended, a significant feature of NEMSAS is that medical care is offered at no immediate out-of-pocket cost to the beneficiary, at Point of care”. “The entire Emergency Medical Service relies on a functional facility network of Primary and Secondary Health centers. The partnership with private care providers is indispensable in bridging what would be gaps in infrastructure network. Beyond supporting citizen health, this program will create jobs and improve quality of life and stabilize society. “
In his remarks, the Honourable Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora said that there is no better time to unveil this laudable initiative than now.
According to him, “it is no surprise that the event is taking place today being Valantine’s Day, as the initiative is all about showing love and giving to humanity”.
He urged all stakeholders to keep their part of the bargain for the smooth running of the programme as well ensuring its sustainability. He also expressed the optimism that with everyone playing their part, the project would be a success.
Permanent Secretary, FMoH, Mahmuda Mamman, who was ably represented by Dr. Alex Okoh, Director in the Department of Public Health, said that NEMSAS was established by Government to provide effective and efficient emergency medical service for domestic medical emergencies and accidents and through the use of designated and accredited hospitals and Ambulance services.
According to the Permanent Secretary, the key stake holders in this Partnership include: Government and partner agencies concerned such as the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), the Association of Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (APMPN), the Guild of Medical Director (GMD), and the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) which he said would boost collaboration to facilitate the implementation of the aims and objectives of NEMSAS.
He added that the collaboration will serve the purpose of providing efficient and effective emergency medical service with full complimentary coverage as part of achieving the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and national emergency medical service provision.
Earlier, the National Programme Manager of NEMSAS, Dr. Saidu Dumbulwa said emergency medical systems are a critical component of national health systems in our country.
“We need to pay specific attention to implementation of NEMSAS and ensure that the evolution of the EMS is both evidence based and appropriate to our national needs as NEMSAS programme.” He urged all stakeholders to actively partake collectively to ensure effective implementation, with sustainability of the programme, coordination, transparency and accountability from both public and private health sector.”
He further said that the 64th National Council on Health (NCH) approved the collaboration of NEMSAS with partner agencies and sub-national governments, as a Private and Public Sector driven initiative, to utilise existing Private Public medical assets, as the mechanism for achieving effective national emergency medical service Provision.
for: Head (Media & Public Relations Unit)
15th February, 2022