By Sola Ogundipe and Chioma Obinna
Despite confirming their attendance earlier for the Gubernatorial Debate beinig organised by the Lagos State branch of the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, the governorship candidates of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and the major opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr Jimi Agbaje, were absent at the debate Wednesday.
In attendance at the debate held at Sheraton Hotels, Ikeja, Lagos were Mr Babatunde Gbadamosi of the African Democratic Party ADP; Mr Francis Adebayo of the Alliance for New Nigeria, ANN; and Mr Owolabi Salis of the Alliance for Democracy, AD.
Others were Mrs Adebisi Ogunsanya of the Young Progressive Party YPP; Dr Sam Anyamele of the United Democratic Party, UDP; Venerable Funso Awe of the National Conscience Party, NCP; Mr Oluwaseun Ajireloja of the Africa Action Congress,AAC and Dr Segun Musa of the Africa Nations Development Programme.
In his opening remarks, the Chairman, Lagos NMA, Dr Saliu Oseni, explained that the purpose of the debate was to hear what the candidates have in plan as touching the health sector of the state if elected.
Also in his submission, the candidate of the Alliance for New Nigeria, Mr Francis Adebayo, declared that he will jettison the health insurance scheme if elected and block all the leakages for wasteful spending in the state.
“We believe that Lagos state is rich enough to cater for its citizen’s health. If all the loopholes are blocked, we will have enough funds to allow citizens enjoy free health service. A lot of people will be excluded from the health insurance scheme because of money, but we will ensure every residents of the state enjoy free health service,” Adelaja said.
The candidate of the Young Progressive Party, Mrs Adebisi Ogunsanya, said if elected as the governor of the state, his government will ensure that all idle Primary Health Centres, PHCs, in the state are put in use with qualified personnel.
The governorship candidate of the United Democratic Party, said if elected he will increase the consolidated health fund from one per cent to five per cent and ensure that the Primary Health Centres have access to this fund.
Making his submissions on the newly launched health insurance in Lagos, the governorship candidate of the African Democratic Party, Mr Babatunde Gbadamosi,said if elected he will prioritise the Universal Health Coverage by ensuring all Lagos State residents get free health service.
“If you are a Lagos tax payer or resident of the state, our government will provide free health service to you. But those who are coming from outside the state because they don’t want to travel abroad will not get free health, they will have to pay,” Gbadamosi said.
The governorship candidate of the Alliance for Democracy, Mr Salis Owolabi, said if elected, his government will bridge the gap between the poor and the rich by financing the health sector.
“We have the money in this state to finance the health sector but some people have sat on the commonwealth of our people, we are ready to hijack our commonwealth from them if elected,” Owolabi said.