Nigerian Medical Association decries shortage of doctors, equipment in Ogun hospitals

A Hospital ward with health workers used to illustrate the story
A Hospital ward with health workers used to illustrate the story

The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, in Ogun State has said  inadequate number of medical doctors in the state-owned health institutions was negatively affecting medical practice and health care delivery in the state.

The chairman of the association, Abayomi Olajide, in an exclusive interview with PREMIUM TIMES on Monday, decried the development as a negation of the World Health Organisation, WHO, policy of one doctor for about 1000 patients.

Mr. Olajide said the total number of doctors currently in the employment of the state is 150.

He said the situation got worse when the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, stopped posting NYSC doctors to government-owned hospitals in the state because the government was not paying them relevant allowances.

He said medical consultants were also less than 30, both in the state Ministry of Health and Hospitals Management Board, stressing that this was worrisome.

According to the NMA chairman, the record of the association indicated that overall, there was a ratio of one doctor to about 5,000 patients in the state.

“I can confirm to you that in the last two years, government has not employed any medical doctor, not even house officers”, he said‎.

He added that the 40 health institutions owned by the state government also do not have the necessary medical equipment.

Mr. Olajide said the body had make several complaints over the issue, but the authorities had failed to carry out repeated promises to correct the situation.

He said the development was also affecting the operations of other departments of health institutions, including pharmacies and laboratories which also lacked adequate strength of personnel.

“No hospital has a single CT scan machine, patients are referred to hospitals in Lagos. The same lack of doctors and equipment is in vogue in community health centres.

“In all the 57 local councils, there are 18 doctors. There is infrastructure decay. With all these, how can there be successful primary health care‎?” Mr. Olajide quipped.

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