November 1, 2016

Lagos NMA decries poor access of Nigerians to qualitative healthcare

Lagos NMA decries poor access of Nigerians to qualitative healthcare

Dr. Omojowolo Olubunmi

By Gabriel Olawale

THE Nigerian Medical Association, NMA Lagos State branch, has blamed poor healthcare facilities, dwindling human resources capacity, and intra-professional rivalry, among other inequalities in healthcare access and cultural barriers, for the lack of quality healthcare delivery in the country.

Dr. Omojowolo Olubunmi

Dr. Omojowolo Olubunmi

Factional chairman of the Lagos NMA, Dr. Omojowolo Olubunmi, who said that the goals of effective healthcare delivery are to prevent human disease, promote behaviours that lead to good physical and mental health and ensured availability of high quality health services, however regretted that such lofty objectives have been extremely difficult in Nigeria as a result of series of challenges facing the health sector.

“In a dwindling economy like ours, these challenges are bound to become more compounded, and as such a major concern due to pre-existing poor social and health indices in Nigeria.”

“When the Nigerian economy was upbeat, unfavourable indices such as low life expectancy, high maternal and infant mortality, high under-five malnutrition, and low immunization rates were all there.”

Speaking in Lagos while declaring the 2016 annual physicians’ week open, Olubunmi identified the re-emergence of polio, Lassa fever epidemic, and recent outbreak of cholera as pointers to the need to make more effort in the areas of public and preventive medicine.

He called for universal basic healthcare coverage and provision of health insurance to Nigerians especially rural community dwellers.

“We must pay close attention to individuals with disabilities by having a comprehensive reform, while mental health issue must be at the front burner of our priorities as a country.

The issue of inter and intra-professional rivalry and incessant industrial action in the health-sector must be look into in a holistic manner with proactive crisis resolution mechanism.

“We must strive for budget allocation to health to approach the 15 percent recommended by the World Health Organization. Government agencies also need to strengthen the framework to curb medical quackery which is a scourge.”

On the crisis rocking the NMA, Olubunmi hinted that the Lagos State High Court vide Honourable Justice Candide-Johnson, in an originating summon with suit no ID/1322GCMW/2016, has granted an order restraining any other person or group  from parading itself as officers of the Association.