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Rob Yates speaking to Nigeria Health Watch

Chatham House expert Rob Yates on how to force Nigerian politicians to act on healthcare

21 August 2018

Rob Yates, an internationally recognised expert on universal health coverage (UHC) and progressive health financing and Chatham House project director of the UHC Policy Forum, yesterday spoke to Nigeria Health Watch, an NGO that aims at “putting health and healthcare at the forefront of the public agenda in Nigeria”.

Yates answered five questions on UHC.

Watch the interview below:

He suggested that Nigerian politicians should talk to the people and they would recognise how important healthcare access is to Nigerians.  He was dismissive health insurance schemes because of affordability for most people.

Yates also said that UHC required “political will and leadership” and the only way to force politicians to act is if the people showed them that it was in the politicians’ “self interest” to deliver UHC.

He felt that citizens and civil society had a role to play to convince Nigerian politicians that UHC was “a route to power”.  It was a surefire vote-winner.

Yates had a point about the votes in UHC.  However, he seemed to be ignoring the “Nigerian factor” in (s)elections, as captured in a quote allegedly made by former senator Arthur Nzeribe to his opponent: “You can beat me in the voting, but you can’t beat me in the counting”.

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