…says state of emergency’ll tackle current challenges
The Chairman of Medical Guild, Dr. Sa’eid Ahmad has said that Nigeria loses up to 2,000 trained medical doctors to brain drain every year while the country currently trains and produces barely half of this number annually.
Ahmad has consequently urged governments at all levels to declare a state of emergency in the health sector with a view to tackling the mounting problems bedeviling the public health system, particularly the brain drain.
Medical Guild is an association of all Lagos State Government employed medical and dental practitioners. According to him, this call has become necessary because “We cannot address an existential problem through the same ineffective ‘normal’ bureaucratic routines that led us here”
He made the call at a press conference to announce the 2022 Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Medical Guild which is taking place at the Providence by Manti, Ikeja, Lagos State today, Monday.
This year’s Medical Guild AGM and Scientific Conference is themed: ‘Existential Challenges of Medical Personnel Retention and Resources Management in an Emerging World Class Health System: The Real Issues and the Lagos Panacea’.
The keynote address speaker is Prof. Akin Abayomi, the commissioner for health in Lagos State.
Similarly, to address the numerous problems currently plaguing the health sector, the chairman of Medical Guild advocated that the upcoming year’s budgetary allocation to health must decidedly meet the World Health Organisation (WHO) minimum of 15 per cent of the total allocation.
Rather than spend this budget on constructing new health institutions, Ahmad stressed that existing ones should be upgraded with emphasis on medical human resources retention strategies. “Drugs don’t prescribe themselves and surgeries are not performed by concrete and project sign-posts, doctors and humans do!”
He said, “While acknowledging the strides of Lagos State over and above all others, we hereby call for a deliberate ‘budge of Health System redemption’ in the coming year, with, for once, direct incentive provisions for doctor and other health workers. In addition, Ahmad said there must be consideration for housing mortgage facilities that would not throw the doctor into open market they sure can never compete in. Much as was deliberately done for state judges, some years ago, and for good reason, this is the least lifesavers deserve.”
Furthermore, the chairman of Medical Guild called for government guaranteed car loan facilities to alleviate the sufferings of living far from work. Also, he stated that there must be a clear and accessible medical indemnity for medical and health workers.
In the meantime, no government employed medical/health worker must have to pay for treatment received in a government hospital, Ahmad added.