The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has risen from its August 2017 National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, asking President Muhammadu Buhari to replicate medical equipment he had seen in London, United Kingdom in Nigerian hospitals before the end of his tenure.
The umbrella body of medical practitioners in the country said that Doctors in the country would have been able to handle the President’s health challenge if the health sector had been properly equipped and funded.
NMA in its communique issued and jointly signed by its National President and Secretary General, Professor Mike Ozovehe Ogirima and Dr. Yusuf Tanko Sununu respectively after their just concluded National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Kaduna said “resolved to call on the President to utilize his positive experience in the health systems of other climes to impact on the health care system in Nigeria.”
Reading the communiqué to newsmen Professor Ogirima said that Nigerian doctors are competent to handle any form of ailment if enabling environment and good working tools are on ground, adding that the President may have sought for medical attention outside the shores of this country perhaps as a result of ill-equipped hospitals in the country.
According to him: “the nature of the President’s ailment is not known to NMA, and even if it is known to us, we have to respect our oath of secrecy. The President like every other citizen of this country has the right to seek second opinion, that is part of medical practice. However, the Doctors in Nigeria are capable of handling any ailment if optimal working conditions are provided.
“We have read and heard on BBC that, the President does not believe in the Nigerian health system. What was wrong by the President going outside? It is a fact that our hospitals are not optimally equipped. Am sure that, the President after spending 100 days in London has first hand experience of what we have been shouting, equip! Equip! Upgrade our hospitals.
“We are happy that the President is back. Based on his experience, we are saying he should come and replicate what he has seen in London, at least to take care of the masses. So, we expect him to replicate such within the next two years.”
According to the communique, “the NEC observed with dismay the continuous low budgetary allocation to health leading to declining health care service delivery in the country.
“The the NEC observed with dismay the worsening availability, distribution, development and utilization of human resources for health within Nigeria’s health system and the increasing trend of brain drain especially affecting the already weakened man power base in the country.
“NEC calls on government to implement the Abuja Declaration of at least 15 percent budgetary allocation to health and ensure timely release of funds with effect from 2018 budget and appealed to the National Assembly to fast track the passage of the bill on Residency Training Program (RTP) in Nigeria.
“NEC calls for the improvement in Epidemic control, preparedness and establishment of more Infectious Disease Hospitals (IDH) through out the country, and that the government to intensify efforts to improve funding on immunization services and further strengthen the collaboration between government and non governmental agencies.”[myad]