NIGERIA – The exodus of Medical professionals from the Nigerian Health Sector has remained a cause for concern among stakeholders.
Experts believe the situation has become more deplorable as the poor are daily denied access to basic health care, while the rich are freely given the needed foreign exchange to embark on medical tourism.
For the Secretary, Health Committee, National Association of Seadogs Confraternity, (NAS) Dr Odoemene Chiazor, the nation’s health system is in a serious dilemma.
His assertion is coming on the side-lines of a Medical outreach organised by the pirates to indigent communities in Calabar, as part of the associations’ corporate social responsibility.
Private-public partnership is the key to reviving Nigeria’s health care system, Daily Post quote him saying.
“People say, the government, the government but I think, the government cannot provide everything; If the private sectors too can try to partner with government in the health sector, I think there will be a change in the health sector because health is very expensive and people don’t understand that”.
Dr Chiazor lamented that Nigeria’s current economic situation has further aggravated the health care situation, considering that government can only afford to invest in a few select sectors.
“But I think communities, private sectors can contribute and if we can actually enforce the use of National Health Insurance Scheme and make it very viable, especially making sure that government appointees and elected people participate in the Health Insurance program, it will go a long way to help the people’’.
“We have a program called community-based health insurance scheme; if that program is actually run in every local government, wherein a month someone pays between N500 to N750, it will really help” he explained.
Dr Chiazor said ‘‘the Association have conducted this outreach for 10 years now and with good partnership, the impact will be felt, we can organize it for three days and surgery and other severe ailments could be handled”
According to Dr Chiazor, the current free medical outreach targets over 500 people and will be executed with donations from members.
“We look at the prevalence condition there that is the ailments the people have, we take statistics and try to give drugs with respect to those conditions and try to do something minimal for the people.
We intervene basically on communicable and non-communicable diseases and then we try to do vaccination to children who have missed their vaccinations and we do nutritional supplement to mostly malnourished children, then counsel pregnant women.
“Then those children and patients that need referrals to tertiary institutions, we try to work with Primary Health Centres to make sure they get those referrals to those centres and follow up from there,” he said. The Secretary who lamented the take-home of Doctors and other health personnel said, “Basically, the take-home of medical doctors are poor, the facilities are poor and the working environment is harsh.
“Someone will go out for medical school, Come and run his residency program, spent so much money and become a consultant, you wait for 2-3 years before you get appointment, you now come to the facility, to run common test like blood level test is difficult, you have something upstairs but you can’t help, then taxes it’s terrible” he regretted”.