Doctors in private sector decry exclusion from government reform plan
Medical professionas in the private health sector have decried lack of government support as well as exclusion from its reform plans.
This was disclosed at the Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN), Annual State Executive Council Workshop, in partnership with developmental partners.
The medical professional stated that despite the huge contribution of about 60 to 70 percent from the private sector organisations to the health system in Nigeria, government has refused to render its support or create an enabling environment for the sector to thrive.
Speaking at the event, the Chairman, AGPMPN, Lagos chapter, Dr Tunji Akintade said there has been zero level of support from the government in strengthening the private healthcare system.
“We have received zero level of support, as a matter of fact the government takes from us instead of giving to us, because we practically pay levies and taxes for everything, we run our system, the electricity, the diesel, we run ourselves, no one gives us an exception or rebate on diesel, taxation, the water system we treat, the security, the roads that lead to some of our facilities that are not in well accessible area, we assist in those communities to develop the roads and all that.
He continued: “ Our patients are no longer able to pay, retailership system has gone down, National Health Insurance Scheme is not working functionally, if you look at it holistically, you will find out that it will kill the health sector if something is not done, as a matter of fact, we are seeking that the government should declare emergency in the health sector.”
Akintade stressed that the government need to adopt and implement policies to address the challenges faced in the health sector
“The policies are multifaceted, you can see there are lot of challenges, if government say the electricity bill for health institutions, network facility in terms of Information Technology (IT) and all that should be rebated, it’s a form of assistance,” he added
According to the state chairman, the challenges faced in the private sector “is that 80 percent of the facility we use are not purpose built, the rent goes up arbitrarily without recourse to anything, and these are the challenges we are going through.”
He, however, said for the primary healthcare system to work functionally in the country, the government must engage the private sector.
“One of the major ways we can improve the health system in this county is to put a lot of fund in the primary healthcare system. The PHCs system are there but not functional, some of them in moribund state, we have human resource in the private sector without utilization, so engaging the private sector in the PHCs is a good and reasonable way out of solving the problem, all we just need to do is, give an enabling environment, put the necessary funding that is there, equip these facilities and share profits,” he stressed.
Akintade said the workshop would assist in setting policy which seeks to address some of these issues in terms of capacity building, advocacy, implementation of the partners project, running and standardizing the health system in Nigeria.
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