By Gabriel Olawale
The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA Lagos State chapter has urged the Lagos State Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency, HEFAMAA to overturn its decision on tariff increase for health facilities operating in the state.
Making the appeal at the NMA Lagos Elders Forum, the Chairman of the Association, Dr Saliu Oseni said HEFAMAA had arbitrarily increased tariff without consulting the stakeholders, adding that renewal of the licence was increased by about 150 per cent which is improper.
“For you to change anything in the health sector, the stakeholders should be involved; people that registered by late last year and early this year registered at the old price but suddenly HEFAMAA introduced a new price.
“The renewal for the hospital was supposed to be N20, 000 suddenly it was increased it to N50, 000. What we want is for them to return to status quo because we were not carried along,” he said.
Oseni said private hospitals in the state had been faced with series of challenges affecting healthcare delivery in the state.
“We used to have over 3,000 private hospitals in Lagos but now, we have little over 2,000 because people are shutting down as a result of overhead cost.
“Government should not turn HEFAMAA into revenue generating agency, they should only serve the purpose of the regulatory body while the government provides the taxpayers’ money to run them.
“To give the target to HEFAMAA to raise revenue is absolutely not acceptable because it puts more burden on people who are already burdened,” he said.
He also complained about some policies of the governments which are counter-productive to the health sector, citing the Federal Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshot Act, 2017, as one of such policies.
Oseni said the Gunshot Act states that doctors report gunshot cases to the police within two hours, saying that in most cases, it was practically impossible.
“Treating a bad gunshot patient may take up to five hours, the Act wants to criminalise you as a doctor attending to a gunshot patient, whereas the government wants you to attend to people without pay and yet they are not providing funds to replenish your pocket.
On the retirement age of doctor which was peg at 60 years, Oseni said such law is counter-productive, “a lot of doctors are still looking active at the age of 60, so why did the government retired someone that can still be active till age 70 when we have a shortage of doctor without replacement.