The Chief Medical Director (CMD), Eko Hospital, Dr Sonny Kuku, has appealed to the Federal Government to priorities healthcare delivery for the benefits of Nigerians.
Kuku made the appeal at the 11th Faculty of Clinical Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Week and Scientific Conference, at Conference Centre, OAU, Ile-Ife.
Kuku spoke on: Crisis in the Health Sector: Innovative Solutions for Medical Practitioners.
He lamented about several challenges facing the practitioners such as inadequate equipment, irregular allowances, poor salary and lack of proper welfare for medical practitioners, among others.
According to him, there will be little or no progress until the country make equitable financing because anytime there is crisis in health sector Nigeria looses a huge amount of money.
He noted that in developed countries, government caters for their citizens in all ramifications, for they devoted highest percentage of budget to healthcare delivery of their people.
Federal Government should allocate between four and eight per cent budgetary allocation to health sector to enable Nigerians have access to medical treatment.
National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) should endeavour to cater for all and sundry in the country.
The governments of some developed countries subsidise for taking care of the people on NHIS, such as 90 per cent American benefits, Uganda covers 80 per cent, Ghanaians took 75 per cent, while only two per cent of Nigerians benefit, he stated.
Kuku regretted that Nigeria was rated as the lowest coverage country in the health sector globally.
The keynote speaker therefore enjoined the government to make necessary medical modern equipment available in all hospitals for the benefit of less privileged.
Kuku said that every department in health sector was important and therefore urged government to provide necessary materials for them so as to maintain medical practitioners across the country rather than losing to greener pastures.
The federal government should provide job satisfaction and equip government hospitals for generality of Nigerians to gain the dividend of democracy and standard healthcare delivery, he advised.
Besides, Kuku called on government to establish soft loan cooperative in the health sector whereby people would have access to healthcare delivery.
Also, the Guest Speaker, Professor Chidi Odinkalu, the Senior Team Manager, African Programme for Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI), lamented the majority of Nigerians were not benefitting from NHIS.
Many Nigerians are not privileged to enjoying NHIS because they are not gainfully employed.
If all and sundry are NHIS benefactors, Nigerians would have access to healthcare delivery and proper medical treatment will be given, he expressed.
Odinkalu also called on the federal government to make provision for the generality of citizens in terms of health sector, saying this will be remedy for crisis in health sector.
He decried the rate of increase in the Nigerian population as the country was producing more mouth than we can feed.
The guest speaker who admonished government to address the issue of insecurity, noted that farmers in Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, Taraba and Benue among other states cannot freely go to farm due to Book Haram insurgency.
In the same vein, Professor Bernice Adegbehingbe, the Dean, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, OAU, Ile-Ife, appreciated all the guests that graced the occasion.
Adegbehingbe said that medical practitioners were facing lot of challenges, including incessant strike actions and massive brain drain syndrome among qualified brilliant medical doctors and other health workers.
She added that fake drugs, quackery, poor infrastructure, inadequate health facilities and severe economic malnutrition came up as a result of poor funding.
According to her, inadequate healthcare service has led to many preventable and premature mortality and severe mobility among the Nigerians.
Adegbehingbe stated that the conference would benefit her Ophthalmology Department by creating health cooperative whereby it would assist her patients in subsidising the prescribed drugs.
The dean also called on government to come to the aid of medical practitioners in addressing the crisis in health sector.
Source: Voice of Nigeria