Nigeria commences major review of health sector; public doctors may be barred from private practice

University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital [Photo:]
University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital [Photo:]

The Nigerian government on Wednesday commenced moves for a major review of the health sector including whether or not doctors in public hospitals should engage in private practice.

Several Nigerians have alleged that doctors in public hospitals refer their patients to their own private clinics for treatment in order to make more money.

The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, while briefing journalists in Abuja after the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday, said the Council has set up a committee to review the laws guiding medical practice and how it conflicts with the Nigerian code of conduct for public officials.

Mr. Adewole stated that Nigerian law, through the code of conduct for public officials, does not allow a public officer to engage in any business other than farming.

He said the committee would make appropriate recommendations to government on the issue which he said is of considerable interest to Nigerians.

According to the 2008 Code of Medical Ethics in Nigeria, a registered practitioner in full time employment in the public service shall not engage in extramural private practice during official duty time under any circumstances.

However, some doctors have been noted to be engaging in private practices during official work time while leaving their service posts under the care of junior resident doctors or house officers.

Mr. Adewole added that the council also considered an important memo on industrial relations particularly in the public sector that he said dealt extensively with several issues.

He said there was an urgent need for a comprehensive job evaluation of the health sector.

“So government has decided to set up a committee that would evaluate what exactly do we do as individuals, how much should we be paid in a way that we can really pay appropriately across board through the entire country.”

Mr. Adewole also said the Council also looked at the issue of residency training programme and decided that the training should last for a fixed time of seven years after training so that the individuals should exit the programme for other people to get in.

“In addition to that, we will also look at the Yayale Ahmed Report which tried to look into the relationship between professional groups in the health sector. The office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, has been mandated to forward a white paper on the Yayale Ahmed Report to FEC so that once and for all, government can restore harmony to the health sector,” he added.

There has been a long term rivalry in the Nigerian health sector between doctors and other health workers especially over salaries and positions.


PT Mag Campaign AD

Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility

Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.


TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...

BE THE FIRST TO KNOW! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required


Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.