The Federal Capital Territory will serve as the pilot State for the implementation of the National Emergency Medical Service and Ambulance System (NEMSAS).
This was disclosed during a courtesy visit of the NEMSAS Working Group led by the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire to the FCTA.
Speaking during the visit, Ehanire said that the availability of an Emergency Medical and Ambulance service in the country could save up to 50% of lives lost due to the non-availability of such services.
Dr Ehanire also revealed that section 18 of the National Health Act empowers the Minister to engage the private sector to work with the public sector in any endeavor for the benefit of the country.
Thus, the Minister said the Association of General Private Medical Practitioners and the Guild of Medical Directors were already engaged, as 60%-70% of medical services in the country were provided by the private sector.
The Minister also disclosed that the ambulances that will participate in the scheme will be drawn from the private and public sectors which will be accredited and paid from a laid down mechanism that will guarantee payment for providers of such services.
Speaking during his presentation on the workings of NEMSAS, the Chairman of its Emergency Treatment Committee, Dr Felix Ogedegbe said that the FCT was selected as the pilot for the programme due to the availability of an extremely competent leadership, pre-hospital and in-hospital emergency services and an adequate monitoring and evaluation environment.
In his words “we feel that the FCT has a very healthy environment to be able to pilot the scheme with a strong and competent leadership here that we can speak to, that we can actually work with, leadership in the political space and leadership in the medical space”.
He stressed that “there is potentially available pre- hospital and in-hospital medical services that will be able to afford care to all the disease ranges that we can find. There is a well laid down structure in the FCT and we think this is the best place to start”.