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Pharmacists task PDP, APC on healthcare


PHARMACISTS under the aegis of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) have charged politicians and political parties on their plans for the health sector even as they recommended five steps on how to boost services in the country. 

   President, PSN, Mr. Olumide Akintayo challenged the major political parties to engage the professional associations and even trade unions in the health sector on a broad-spectrum range of issues from the welfare of health workers to other key policy thrusts that will improve healthcare in Nigeria.

   Akintayo, in a statement at the weekend, said the PSN considers it, in apocalyptic terms, necessary that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) come up with specific action plans in five key areas.

   The pharmacists recommended these five key steps to improve healthcare delivery: Ensure Universal Health Coverage (UHC) including Community Based Social Health Insurance Programme (CBSHIP); well defined welfare package for health workers which redresses attendant stress junctions that have resulted in recurrent and perennial strike actions; an acceptable Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) initiative for some services in the health system to promote efficacy, boost competences and build capacity in the private sector; government at the centre must come up with reforms that will usher a petrochemical industry which is the precursor for genuine industrial revolution across board; and investment in research and development through substantial financial rates for the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD).

   The PSN insists that the PDP and APC must organise town hall meetings, which inculcates the stakeholders in health especially the professional associations and the trade unions.

   They urged politicians to conduct their activities with decorum so that there will be a united Nigeria to preside over after the elections.

   The statement signed by Akintayo reads: “The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria has continued to appraise the totality of political happenings in Nigeria in recent months and we wonder at this junction albeit loudly that as usual politicians have failed woefully at all levels (federal and state) to imbibe expected rules of engagement with regards to pharmacists and other key stakeholders in the health sector.

   “One would have assumed that a perpetually boiling multidisciplinary sector like health with an array of frontline professionals would normally be a focus of special attention for serious politicians in the business of nation building. If health is wealth like a common cliché professes, then we cannot be consolidating economic designs and plans on all spheres without thinking of the health of the people.”

   On recommendation for UHC and CBSHIP, the PSN further explains: “A need for universal coverage is acceptable, but the condition precedent is to harness and consolidate the philosophy of a managed care concept that is statute entrenched.”

   And on the PPP, Akintayo said the models must be worked out with the relevant professional associations and professional regulatory councils as they arise.

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