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We’ll mobilise against aspirants with no plans for health sector, NMA threatens

By Ann Godwin, Port Harcourt
17 May 2022   |   4:06 am
Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has threatened to mobilise against aspirants in the 2023 elections who have no clarity of ideas on how to revitalise the nation’s collapsing health sector.

Innocent Ujah

Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has threatened to mobilise against aspirants in the 2023 elections who have no clarity of ideas on how to revitalise the nation’s collapsing health sector.

The President of NMA, Prof. Innocent Ujah, while speaking in Port Harcourt, Rivers state yesterday, as part of activities to mark the 62nd Annual General Conference and Delegates meeting of the association, said days were gone when politicians would promise to provide water, electricity, healthcare during campaigns but later failed to keep to their promises, describing the strategy as old fashioned jokes.

He said: “All politicians aspiring for presidential, senatorial, governorship, assembly seats must define clearly their role to revitalise the health sector; otherwise, we will be forced to mobilise our patients and their spouses to vote against anyone who does not take health seriously.

“We are tired of hearing ‘we will provide health facilities’. Now, you must give us details on how you will do it. We have passed the stage of campaign that says, ‘I will provide water, electricity,’ now you have to show practical steps of how you will achieve it.”

Ujah, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecological surgeon, maintained that government must be very strategic, up its game and work to rescue the nation’s health system, which he described as in a state of ‘total collapse’.

He blamed brain drain in the sector on the nation’s poor health sector: “We are preparing a document to submit to government that will form a policy; also the health reform committee of the Federal Government should be able to come out, to see what they can do in the situation we found ourselves.”

He explained that the brain drain started in 1978 with the introduction of the private practice decree in Nigeria, when some people moved out from the country.

“We have produced about 80,000 doctors and today we are left with about 50,000. The rest are either in Europe, America, Saudi Arabia, Canada or Caribbean because no body wants to be highly trained, cerebral and be getting peanuts. Everybody wants the family to be comfortable. So, they leave for the green pastures,” he lamented

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