By Dayo Johnson – Akure
The Federal Government, weekend, said it has renewed its efforts towards discouraging the outflow of Nigerian health workers from the country.
Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora who expressed concern over the brain drain said that government was “working assiduously to discourage “physicians’ brain drain” from the country.
Mamora said this during the commissioning of some health projects which include the Federal Medical Centre, Akure Annex, research centre, Isolation ward, the Upgraded Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and a reference Laboratory in Owo area of Ondo state.
He said that ” We are being faced with doctors leaving the country but the Federal government has plans to fund hospitals across the country and motivate our doctors and other health workers to make such migration unattractive.
“This is an issue of concerns for all of us and we are already looking at the factors which we know largely in terms of what is responsible.
“One of it is the renumeration and I want to repeat it here that no amount paid to any health worker will compensate adequatly, looking at the health hazard they are exposed to.
“So we are working on how to raise it a bit for our health workers, and you will recall that just a few days ago we had engagement with all the leaders of the unions in the health sector, working together on how to increase and put in place some kind of hazard allowance that will show we appreciate what they are doing.
“And don’t forget the Medical Residency Program is free, you need to know how expensive it is abroad, but we are giving it free now for our Resident Doctors.
“We also have insurance scheme in place, that everyone in the pay roll of government is entitled to. We are doing everything possible just to raise the compensation”
“The Federal Government is also committed to building a healthy system that guarantees universal access to comprehensive, efficient, affordable, adequate, equitable, and quality healthcare for all Nigerians
Mamora said this will also help to discourage medical tourism noting that all efforts have been geared towards making health care available, accessible and affordable for Nigerians.
“It is not in the size of the structure but its functionality, the functionality and capacity to deliver the services that people need is the most important thing and to see that the services that people required are being provided.
“The whole concept of universal health coverage is accessibility, it must be accessible and it must also be affordable. It must be available, because it might be available and not be accessible, so the first thing is availability, next thing is accessible and must be affordable.
“This is the one of the reasons the Federal Government is working hard on the health insurance. This is one of the way of achieving health care financing and we are not just stopping at the level of the Federal Government.
“We are also encouraging the states, and I am aware that Ondo state has put in place State Health Insurance Scheme. This is the kind of collaboration that we expect and I am happy to know that Ondo state has put this in place. This will go a long way to make health care delivery available, accessible and affordable”
“For all health workers, we need to work together for health care delivery, its a team event, not a solo event and in a team event everyone in the team is important. Let’s downplay undue rivalry because the person who suffers it at the end of the day is the patients”,
The Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Liasu Ahmed said the newly Inaugurated projects will assist in providing better health services to the people.
Ahmed said the hospital has what it takes to be named college of medicine by any university.
The CMD who thanked the minister for the visit, said the centre would continue to work assiduously to provide qualitative health service to the people.