Expert tasks NASS members, others to adopt hospital projects


National Coordinator, Afri-Health Optonet Association, a coalition of Civil Society Organisations, (CSOs) network and think-tank for Health, Community and Development Systems Strengthening, Dr. Uzo Adirieje, has called on the National Assembly, to enhance medical services in the country by adopting rural hospital projects.

He gave the charge at a presentation to the Joint Committee on Rural Development and Health Care Services of the House of Representatives, in Abuja.

Adirieje said that “our contributions on this Bill via this memorandum by requesting that every elected officer or political appointee at all levels adopt one rural Primary Health Centre as the first place to seek for healthcare for self, families, friends and dependents.

“Short of requesting that these our greater compatriots should adopt one PHC in their respective constituencies and own/support its operational activities by providing commodities/drugs, equipment, staff salaries, other operational costs.”

“We firmly believe that their patronage of such facilities will increase the profile, recognition and patronage of such facilities by health professionals, patients and other stakeholders.”

He said that “nearly 45 per cent of physicians registered with the Nigerian Medical Council had left the country and a large chunk of nurses will be retiring within a decade with no experienced hands to replace them.

“These catastrophic and perplexing healthcare indices are worsened by the continuing brain-drain from Nigeria of qualified health care personnel seeking greener pastures or retirement abroad.

“Within our shores, access to primary health care or qualified primary care personnel as well as to the BMHCP remains a mirage for the majority of the citizens”, he added.

He said that in the absence of fully implemented nationwide, Universal Health Coverage (UHC) the next medical diagnosis could mean a death sentence or financial ruin to the country.

“Presently, just about five per cent of the population is enrolled in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and mainly public service workers, our health systems is frequently embroiled in some industrial action in addition to being grossly under-equipped, ill-staffed and poorly funded by all the tiers of government”, he added.

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