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NMA urges more bailout funds for states over worsening health situation


Mike Ozovehe Ogirima

Mike Ozovehe Ogirima

The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has urged the Federal Government to provide more bailout funds to states to enable them pay workers, who depend on their salaries to fund their medical bills.

Reviewing the health situation of the country, the association berated some state governors for not taking payment of workers salaries seriously.

In a communiqué signed by Mike Ozovehe Ogirima and Yusuf Tanko Sunumu, President and Secretary, respectively, at the end of their 2016 National conference in Enugu, the NMA warned that failure to give states more bailout funds might also undermine the training and quality services rendered by health professionals.

Furthermore, the doctors expressed worry that the recent gains made by Nigeria in elimination of wild polio virus might be eroded unless urgent attention was paid on the plight of Internally Displaced persons (IDPs) at their various camps.

NMA said “The current economic crisis in our country and high rate of out of pocket payments for health care services, coupled with the low accessibility of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is not only threatening health care delivery system but has made achieving universal health coverage in Nigeria a mirage.”

The council recommended the urgent strengthening of the immunization delivery system in Nigeria especially in the North East zone, as a measure to forestall the resurgence of polio and vaccine preventable diseases in the zone.

It recalled that the National Health Act 2014, which was a product of the collective struggle of Nigerians aimed at better health care delivery in the country, had not been implemented three years after. It stressed that this was seriously undermining the aspirations of ordinary Nigerians to access basic health care.

NMA asked the Federal Government to reconstitute the council of the medical and dental councils of Nigeria, disclosing that the non-reconstitution of the organ charged with the responsibility for regulating standards and practice of medicine in Nigeria poses serious threat to the lives of the people.

According to NMA, the non- reconstitution of the council has contributed to the proliferation of quackery, leading to avoidable deaths and has left litigations against medical practitioners unattended to.

The meeting also condemned the National Universities Commission’s (NUCs) recommendation that PhD must be a prerequisite for career progression for clinical lecturers in Nigeria medical schools. It maintained that any clinical lecturer who wished to pursue PhD could do so on his own volition.

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