How Tinubu can address brain drain, tackle health sector challenges – LUTH CMD

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Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu

The Chief Medical Director (CMD) Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Professor Chris Bode has advised the President-elect, Ahmed Bola Tinubu to put in place measures to stem brain drain in the country’s health sector when he steps on the saddle by May this year.

Prof. Bode said among such measures is the increase in financial and budgetary allocations to health sector to boost the confidence of health workers as well increase expectations in service delivery.

The CMD spoke at a send-forth and celebration of an icon party organised by the management of LUTH in his honour as part of activities to mark his exit from the institution, after serving for eight years at the federal government owned teaching hospital.

According to the Professor of Surgery and Consultant Paediatric Surgeon, “If there is a one thing I will like to advise the incoming President, it is to ensure that the national health insurance authority lives up to its responsibility by ensuring that hospitals, doctors, nurses and other health workers gets good pay for the good work we are doing, so that hospitals can recover the cost of equipment they use.”

He disclosed that “hospitals hardly can replace the equipment they use now because we doing the good are the ones subsidising the cost of healthcare for many who cannot afford it, but with the health insurance act, with universal health insurance coverage, there should be more money given to service givers, carers so that healthcare will become a vibrant industry. We have not yet scratched the surface of the healthcare industry as a business. The incoming president should help us turn it into a humongous business that will serve Nigeria.”

He said the measure will not only ensure better oversight and conformity to standards by operators, it will stem the massive brain drain being experienced in the health sector and also encourage those who have sought greener pastures overseas to return home to contribute to the development of the sector.

While commending staff and management of the teaching hospital, the outgoing CMD said his “experience has been a humbling roller-coaster one, full of challenges, thrills, achievements, and ups and downs but to God’s glory, I am happy and I humbly say LUTH is better today than when we met it. This no doubt is as a result of the collaborations with a lot of good people, goodwill and encouragement from all over.”

He added that “We had initial challenges, distraught among our staff and management, but with help from God we were able to foster harmonious relationships, we built trust, it was given, it was earned.

“The hospital is on a great trajectory, whoever comes in the community expects them to maintain that trajectory, bring in new things and even aim for higher grounds. We expect the continuity in terms of equipment and infrastructural renaissance that has already put LUTH on the part to greatness.

“We want continuity, peace, harmonious industrial relationships; we want a patient friendly institution where anybody that comes here with a desire to be treated will obtain good treatment promptly and with dignity.

“We are not perfect yet but we have hope, vision and direction and people are responding to that, the country is also responding to that. We have many new firsts in LUTH and I am happy about that and as I am leaving as CMD, what I know fully is that the future and I know my successor will do a better job than I have done. I am proud to be a Nigerian and I want to say that Nigerians can faithfully serve their country and make good things happen in their country,” Bode told reporters.

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