By Chioma Obinna
Medical doctors under the auspices of Commonwealth Medical Association have lauded President Mohammadu Buhari on the appointment of Prof. Isaac Adewole and Dr. Osagie Ehanire as Ministers of Health. Speaking through its Vice President, Dr Osahon Enabulele, they described the appointment of the duo as a courageous and intelligent move to get competent, honest, experienced and broad based professionals to administer the Federal Ministry of Health and progressively re-engineer Nigeria’s Health sector.
“We applaud Mr. President for appointing these fit and proper professionals with unquestionable pedigree of achievements.” Enabulele urged both Ministers to quickly settle down to the herculean task of re-engineering Nigeria’s Health Sector.
“They must now address the numerous challenges that have befuddled Nigeria’s Health Sector. In this regard, it is my expectation that in formulating their programme of action, they will give due consideration to institution of an inclusive and participatory governance model in the health sector, strengthening, monitoring and evaluation of the institutions for delivering health services to Nigerians, with restoration of public confidence, discipline, integrity, professionalism and best practices in Nigeria’s health institutions.”
He urged the ministers to be committed in the implementation of the 2014 National Health Act. Other areas, he said they should consider includes expansion of Universal Health Coverage, pursuit of the much awaited enactment of the National Health Insurance Commission Act, strengthening of the National Health Insurance Scheme, including the scaling up of its Community Based Social Health Insurance component; the sincere exploration of other avenues to improve on the current dismal percentage health coverage of Nigerians among others.
He further urged them to address the problem of medical tourism, particularly by the implementation of the relevant provisions of the National Health Act, restriction of government’s funding of foreign medical treatment by political and public office holders and repositioning of Nigeria’s Health Human Resource, with particular emphasis on the institution of a dynamic Health Human Resource Development Plan.