Doctors have made a request from President Muhammadu Buhari – he should replicate in Nigeria the medical equipment he saw in hospitals before the end of his tenure.
The umbrella body of medical practitioners, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), said doctors in Nigeria would have handled the President’s health challenge if the health sector had been properly equipped and funded.
Buhari has just returned from a medical vacation in London after 103 days.
The NMA, in its communique signed by National President Prof. Mike Ozovehe Ogirima and Secretary General Dr. Yusuf Tanko Sununu after the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Kaduna said it had “resolved to call on the President to utilise his positive experience in the health systems of other climes to impact on the health care system in Nigeria.”
Ogirima, who read the communique, said Nigerian doctors were competent to handle any form of ailment if enabling environment and good working tools were given, adding that the President might have sought for medical attention oversees as a result of ill-equipped hospitals.
He said: “The nature of the President’s ailment is not known to NMA, and even if it is known to us, we have to respect our oath of secrecy. The President like every other citizen of this country, has the right to seek second opinion; that is part of medical practice. However, the doctors in Nigeria are capable of handling any ailment, if optimal working conditions are provided.
“We have read and heard on BBC that the President does not believe in the Nigerian health system. What was wrong by the President going outside? It is a fact that our hospitals are not optimally equipped. I’m sure that the President, after spending 100 days in London, has first hand experience of what we have been shouting, equip! equip! Upgrade our hospitals.
“We are happy that the President is back. Based on his experience, we are saying he should come and replicate what he has seen in London, at least to take care of the masses. So, we expect him to replicate such within the next two years.
“The NEC observed with dismay the continuous low budgetary allocation to health leading to declining service delivery.
“The NEC observed with dismay the worsening availability, distribution, development and utilisation of human resources for health within Nigeria’s health system and the increasing trend of brain drained especially affecting the already weakened manpower base in the country.
“NEC calls on government to implement the Abuja Declaration of at least 15 percent budgetary allocation to health and ensure timely release of funds with effect from 2018 budget, and urged the National Assembly to fast track the passage of the bill on Residency Training Programme (RTP) in Nigeria.
“NEC calls for the improvement in Epidemic control, preparedness and establishment of more Infectious Disease Hospitals (IDH) throughout the country, and the government to intensify efforts to improve funding on immunisation services and further strengthen the collaboration between government and non governmental agencies,” the NMA said.
The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has also challenged the Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) government to spend the remaining period of the present administration to deliver its campaign promises and ensure rapid development in all sectors of the economy.
In a statement by its President Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama and General Secretary Comrade Musa-Lawal Ozigi, the congress said the government had not fulfilled its promise to return the glory of the country.
To the congress, it is unfortunate that the country has been confronted with challenges, which include the President’s health challenge, some unscrupulous characters in the ruling party and insecurity, corruption, among others.
Condemning the attack on the office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Congress warned all those frustrating the effort of the anti-graft agency to desist or face the wrath of the masses.
The statement said: “The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria heartily welcomes President Muhammed Buhari back to the country after over three months of medical vacation in London. We are truly grateful to Almighty God for granting the President healing and safe journey back home.