Nigeria at 63: NMA laments over poor health sector

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The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Lagos State chapter, lamented on the developmental setback being experienced in the country’s health sector.

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The chairman of the Association, Benjamin Oluwatosin, in a statement to mark Nigeria’s 63rd Independence Anniversary said, the health sector is nothing to write home about.

According to him, despite the increasing population, the health sector has continued to regress, adding that yearly budgetary allocation to the sector is below the standard.

He said, “From 1960 to date, Nigeria has been an epicentre of many events, the good, bad, and ugly. Her health sector has not been spared in these series of melodrama displayed across the length and breadth of the green-white-green Republic.

“It is shocking to note that as the population spikes, the health facilities across the nation shrink. Many hospitals have sadly become memorabilia of their glory days.

“The yearly budgetary allocation for the health sector perfectly expresses how forsaken our health sector has become. Needless to say, we are always below the United Nations safe threshold for budgetary health allocation.

He condemned Nigerian leaders who neglect the citizens and travel abroad for medical care.

“Medical students who are the future of the health sector, their studies and training are constantly inhibited and thwarted by ASUU strikes. This disturbing interruption in their training is now predictable, and solutions seem far from the horizon. Gradually and steadily, graduate medical doctors find it difficult to get appropriate placement to finetune their medical training further post-NYSC.”

Medical practitioners now find solace in other countries that value their expertise, compensating them with fatter pay and affectionate care.

Also, he said Nigerian doctors become touch bearers and sparkling beacons of medical practice when transplanted to favourable nations.

“Our problem has never been low cerebral ability or poor technical prowess. But a lack of political will to do what is right. It is heart-wrenching that in the 21st century, the number of people who still die of malaria and maternal death is still in the millions.”



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