The doctors lament state’s poor health sector
The Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, Ogun State Chapter, at a press conference on Friday in Abeokuta, gave a strike notice to the state government.
The Association accused the state government of paying lip service to healthcare delivery in the state.
The Chairman of the Association, Olusoji Jagun, declared that, if the state government failed to address the problems within the health sector before November 11, all doctors on its payroll would stop work.
Mr. Jagun stated that the Association’s midterm assessment showed that healthcare service in the state was an abysmal failure.
“The Ogun State Government cannot boast of any of its hospitals as a centre of excellence. Health is the second point on the (government’s) agenda, but our midterm assessment shows an abysmal failure and political deceit. Primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare remains under or unfunded, which has resulted in adhoc or makeshift services. The community based health insurance services has remained a talk show and quality hospital services has become a thing of the past,” Mr. Jagun lamented.
He added that health workers helplessly watched patients die because of lack of facilities to work with.
He pointed out that no hospital in Ogun State had a MRI, CT scan, digital X-ray, fluoroscopy or any other major diagnostic equipment.
“Ultrasound scans are luxuries. Only one hospital can provide dialysis. We tend to ask ourselves how did we get to this level of infrastructural putrefaction,” he said.
The NMA Ogun boss noted that the solution was not in building new centres as the government was planning to do.
Pointing out that specialist centres only catered to less than 10 per cent of the population, he said, “It would therefore be uneconomical to plan for the minority and allow the majority to die. The government should strengthen the existing institutions, provide appropriate equipment and personnel.”
The doctors also noted that, in view of the challenges, the Ogun State government had accepted that it could not provide the free health care services it promised the people of the state during election campaigns.
Mr. Jagun also stated that the State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, for reasons best known to the Governor, had been avoiding meeting the Association to discuss these issues. He also said that Mr. Amosun failed to respond to complaints mailed to him months ago.
The NMA Ogun boss warned that health could not be left in the hands of the private sector for fear of exploitation, adding that if the private sector had to be involved, government should serve as a regulator with appropriate health care financing.
“Health is capital intensive and a social contract between the government and the people. Efforts by private organisations are just complementary to the government and should not be seen as another alternative,” he said.
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