January 22, 2019

HEALTH AGENDA: NMA organises debate for Lagos governorship candidates

By Chioma Obinna

Aheadof the forthcoming general elections, the Lagos State branch of the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, is organising a Gubernatorial debate for governorship candidates in Lagos on improved health and welfare of the citizens.

The medical doctors who were of the view that it has become necessary to critically look into some issues bordering on accessibility, availability, quality and affordability of healthcare in the state, said the forthcoming election provides a platform to set agenda for the incoming governor.

Briefing journalists on the Gubernatorial Debate/ Leadership Retreat slated for January 30th, 2019, at the Radisson Blu, Ikeja, the Chairman, Lagos NMA, Dr. Saliu Oseni confirmed that seven of the candidates have indicated interest.

Candidates that have indicated interest include those from the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr Babajide Sanwo-olu; Action Democratic Party, ADP,  Mr Babatunde, Gbadamosi; National Conscience Party, NCP Mr. Funso Awe; Alliance for New Nigeria, ANN, Mr Francis Adebayo; UDP, Dr Sam Anyamele, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Mr Jimi Agbaje, and AD, Mr Owolabi Salis.

“The citizens have been forced by law to co-fund health provision in the state. Therefore, it has become important to create a platform for the gubernatorial candidates to unveil their plans for health and welfare of the people.

“This informed the efforts of the Association as the custodian of our people’s health to bring the candidates to task in Governorship Debate,” Oseni explained.

To ensure adequate representation of the views and opinions of various segments of the public in setting the agenda for health, the association involved other concerned parties and the media.

Addressing journalists earlier on their forthcoming, Leadership Retreat billed to hold 28th through 29th January, Oseni explained that the retreat was solely to address issues including, brain drain, quackery, the recently launched Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme and shortage of health workforce.

The activity would also look at the issues being raise about the Lagos health insurance scheme.

“Despite the brain drain, we still have a lot of doctors that are jobless. We really need to critically look into why we are still short staffed; so it became very important that we should bring together all the stakeholders in the health sector to look into this.

“These and more are questions we wish to provide answers to through robust discuss by professionals and stakeholders at the leadership retreat, and at the same time ensure industrial harmony and improvement in health indices in the overall interest of Lagosians,” he added.