Two health experts on Monday said the nation’s health sector was still not at its best, 56 years after independence. They told newsmen in Lagos that lesser attention was being given to the health of Nigerians, hence the poor healthcare system.
In his comments, Dr Olumuyiwa Odusote, the chairman, Lagos State Chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), said that there was need for the government to re-strategise on how to finance the sector.
According to him, that may be key to improving the nation’s health sector. “The economy, as it is, has even made things more difficult, because people will have to pay more to attain the same level of healthcare.
“We are far from where we should be in the health sector. “We need to look at health financing, basically, because that is what has come to the fore and with this economic recession, health financing has become imperative.
“Because, a lot of people, who can afford healthcare in the private setting, are not able to do so, and that means lots of people will probably succumb to unavoidable deaths,“ he said.
The chairman said that everybody has a collective role to play in contributing ideas on how to achieve a viable health sector. ”The responsibility lies on everybody to take charge of his or her health.
“What the government can do is to synthesise these ideas and come out with a workable plan acceptable to all, “ Odusote said.
Also, the Chairman, Medical Guild, Dr Oseni Saliu, said that most of the conditions in the National Health Act were not being implemented.
Saliu said, “For instance, you are to render emergency services for people, but the question now is that who pays for the service. “The act says that five per cent of the budget goes to the insurance, but are they really paying the five per cent.
“Free healthcare delivery is not something that is really feasible; somebody has to pay and also provide the support. “In terms of the public getting the services, we are not there yet. “
He said that in terms of the facilities needed for quality healthcare delivery, there was need for the government to provide the necessary ones and upgrade those on ground.