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Stakeholders charge lawyers to broaden health sector legislations

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Chairman, CMSA, Benjamin Obidegwu (Left); Partner, George Etomi and Partners, Edefe Ojomo; member planning committee, CMSA 2020 virtual annual business luncheon conference Adeleke Alex-Adedipe and social/welfare secretary, CMSA, Otome Okolo.

Lawyers have been charged to show more interest in broadening the health sector through viable legislations.

Speaking during a zoom conference titled: “Financial opportunities in the capital market and aid to improving the Nigerian health care sector”, organised by the Capital Market Solicitors Association (CMSA), renowned chartered accountant, Olabode Agusto said Nigerian lawyers should participate in broadening health sector legislations through access to financial opportunities in the capital market.

Participants at the event include CMSA chairman, Mr. Benjamin Obidegwu; director general, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr. Lamido Yuguda; Prof Wale Suleiman; Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa; Partner, George Etomi & Partners, Efeomo Olotu, among others.

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Agusto explained that lawyers should play the role of drafting relevant laws and regulations that would guide the operations of the healthcare sector.

He however added that lawyers should start by studying and understanding the operating models used in countries where the impact of the healthcare system has been very strong.

“We should also determine how we should tweak these models to reflect the realities of our environment,” he stated.

Ohuabunwa in his remarks stated that healthcare is everybody’s problem. “We need to understand why we are where we are with healthcare in our country. The problem is our philosophy of healthcare,” he said.

He also noted that Nigerians have the habit of adopting the western method of healthcare, which according to him has made us too dependent on them without trying to see how we could integrate our own traditional medical/healthcare practices.

“We must have entrepreneurs who are interested in the traditional medicine or alternative medicine space, because the capital market cannot create money for people who don’t exist. So let the government have a policy that promotes traditional medicine,” he suggested.

Ohuabunwa therefore urged the capital market operators to find creative ways to support the traditional medical practices.

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“The capital market solicitors should get the National Assembly to enact a regulation under the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria, or the Nigerian Natural Medicine Development Agency,” he advised.

Prof. Suleiman tasked Nigerians to innovate. According to him, part of the innovation is making sure “we come out with a commercial proposition that works for our environment.”

He said: “We need to come up with a way to capitalise our own traditional medicine and produce some of these medications that are being imported into Nigeria.”

For Mr. Yuguda adequate support needs to be given to the indigenous pharmaceutical companies and the health sector to carry out intensive research on drugs and vaccines for various infectious diseases.

“All these are necessary to reduce the health and social impact of total health emergencies and also to discourage the rate at which medical personnel and patients migrate to countries with better healthcare systems.

“No doubt, the type of development that our healthcare system requires will involve huge investment and capital from both the private and public sector. It is also important that such capital is long-term since most investments in the sector are expected to yield positive return over a very long time,” he said.

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