Health sector should be properly funded

For decades, the Nigerian health sector has suffered from underfunding which has consequently put it in a distressing state. Meanwhile, the political elite and other wealthy Nigerians always jetted off to the UK, Germany, India and the United Arab Emirates, to get their medical care and treatment.

These leaders have savagely denied their compatriots, especially those living in rural areas where preventable diseases are killing large number of women and children, the qualitative healthcare system.

In the last 10 years alone, Nigeria has added almost 50 million people to its headcount, more than the entire population of some African countries, without any commensurate investment in healthcare.

Nigeria’s public hospitals have become nightmares where people die because of shortage of drugs, equipment and medical specialists and this affects the poor particularly. Hospitals are employing their families and friends as nurses and doctors and also collecting money in exchange for recruitment. The absence of transparent mechanisms and proper regulation gives room for corrupt practices.

Healthcare is increasingly becoming unaffordable by many Nigerians, particularly, the masses. Pblic hospitals were hitherto cheaper and more accessible. Unfortunately, they are now more because the doctors in public hospitals are the owners of private hospitals, where they send patients for laboratory tests and services not rendered by government hospitals.

As a way of this deplorable situation, the federal and state governmentsl should increase the funding of their health sectors. This will improve health care facilities, the welfare of staff as well as building social accountability in local communities. Any medical personnel engaging in corrupt practices should appropriately sanctioned.

Josline Kefas,
Department of Mass Communication,
University of Maiduguri,
Maiduguri, Borno state

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