By Marie-Therese Nanlong
President Muhammadu Buhari has solicited the support of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA as his government works towards rehabilitating the healthcare sector to deliver a health system that is responsive to the needs of Nigerians.
He appealed to the association to desist from embarking on incessant strike actions as such have retarded the growth in the healthcare system and led to needless loss of lives.
The President who spoke at the 61st Annual General Conference and Annual Delegates meeting of the Nigerian Medical Association held in Jos, Plateau State, with the theme: “Nigeria and the Global Health Agenda 2030”, commended the resilience of Nigerian medical doctors despite the country’s fragile healthcare system.
Represented by the Minister of Health, Professor Osagie Ehanire, the President noted that doctors have continued to rise up to the challenges any time there was outbreak of diseases as witnessed in the recent outbreak of COIVD-19 pandemic.
He however stated that his government has made considerable investment in facility upgrade and expansion in most federal and state hospitals in the form of isolation and treatment centres, adding that government was determined to strengthen the secondary healthcare and also reform the tertiary healthcare institutions across the country.
He maintained that the federal government needs “the support of every Nigerian to deliver a more viable healthcare system to the nation.”
Also speaking, Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong assured the medical doctors of his administration commitment to deliver quality healthcare services to citizens saying he has employed over 412 doctors and other health workers in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak.
His words, “We employed more than 412 Doctors and other Health workers into the Plateau state health sector to boost the capacity of the system to respond to the needs of the people in both rural and urban areas.
“We shall continue to employ more, especially as we complete the new hospitals under construction.
“Aside from signing into law, the Bill establishing Plateau State Specialist Hospital, we have continued to upgrade its facilities. At the moment, we are about to acquire another upgrade with state-of-the-art medical facilities such as CT Scan, MRI, and Digital X-ray.”
Earlier, the President of NMA, Professor Innocent Ujah urged the Federal Government to provide modern medical equipment and consumables to enhance quality healthcare delivery to all Nigerians and demanded that the Nigerian government critically re-access the sector and commit more to creating a conducive work and improved welfare for the doctors and other health workers.
Ujah lamented the precarious situation in the health sector especially with the global COVID-19 outbreak which has made several doctors and other health workers to pay the supreme price for the survival of the country.
Chairman of NMA in the state, Dr. Innocent Emmanuel applauded his colleagues for standing firm stressing, “We work under suboptimal conditions; our patriotism as evident by our persistence in giving our best in the course of delivering health care services to the teeming populace of Nigeria is unparalleled.”
He explained that the theme of the conference was carefully selected to brace up with where the country stands and to speed up to where it should be in the struggle for a healthy Nigeria society despite COVID-19.