By Chioma Obinna & Erezi Efeunu
The Vice President, Commonwealth Medical Association, Dr. Osahon Enabulele has decried the current state of the country’s health sector, saying that 56 years after, the sector is still struggling to meet the World Health Organisation, WHO, set standards for health.
Enabulele who is also a former President of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, noted that the problem in the health sector has worsened following the serious economic challenges facing the country.
Speaking in Lagos during the Annual General Meeting /Scientific Conference of Medical and Dental Consultants Association branch of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Enabulele regretted that though Nigeria is blessed with natural resources that can sustain the economy of the country, it lacks the needed political commitment to make the sector beneficial to the masses.
According to him, Nigeria’s health sector has come a long way since the very first colonial development plan of the 1946-1956; but it is yet to overcome some challenges facing the sector.
“The country is facing challenges in terms of health man-power and even the health facilities are not there. We need close to over 250,000 Nigerian doctors to be able to meet up with what has been recommended globally in terms of the standard for doctor- patient ratio.
“To achieve this, we need to put on ground a more strategic plans and in working out those plans there is the issue of financing. We need to move the nation health insurance plan from where it is now to a point where Nigeria can say we have a health financing system that is dedicated to ensuring that we meet the health hazard of health expenditure of Nigerians.
“In countries like Rwanda, they have over 90 percentage of health insurance coverage, Ghana and Tanzania are talking of over 60 percent universal coverage while Nigeria is struggling with 5-7 percent which is not good, he noted.
He further condemned the manner at which Nigerian leaders fly out of the country even for minor ailments that can be managed in the country.
“The practitioners should be encouraged as to give their best to healthcare services.