Just like the power sector, the Nigerian healthcare system has remained a puzzle which past and present administrations have been unable to solve.
It is disheartening to state that every area and fiber of the healthcare sector is in a rot, nothing practically works, could it be as a result of bad and selfish leaders? Are there cabals working day and night to sabotage this continuously disgraceful sector?
President Muhammadu Buhari promised that the federal government will not fund government officials to travel abroad for medical treatment unless the case cannot be handled in Nigeria. Our president has not only gone for medical tourism but has his family members traveled out to seek medical attention. PMB has refused to disclose the nature of his current ailment, how then can we determine if his situation can be treated in Nigeria or not?
Tuesday, May 8th will mark President Buhari’s 5th official medical trip to the UK. Haven taken cognizance of the president’s medical routine, it is so clear that our ‘’head’’ is not concerned about the health of the masses, he just pays lips service. The question we need to ask is what is the fate of those who cannot seek foreign healthcare?
Yearly, Nigeria loses doctors to developed nations as a result of the inadequacies of the health sector. Lives are being wasted and even those that have decided to stay back are not as motivated as they should. We hear doctors going on strike every now and then as a result of unpaid salaries or benefits.
Preventable and treatable disease are termed terminal as a result lack of basic infrastructure. Nigeria is a country that has produced nothing less than 70,000 doctors according to the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, but only about 35,000 are registered practitioners. With this numbers, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) standard, it will take Nigeria nothing less than 90 years to produce doctors to meet the high demands of patients.
It has been said that Nigeria is one of the most perilous nations in the world to give birth. In other words, we have one the highest maternal mortality rate in the world. Nigerians have themselves sort for the better option by going on medical tourism. Pregnant Nigerian women travel out to seek for better medical care owing to the appalling state of our primary health care centers and hospitals.
Nigeria needs only a committed leader who will address the issue of healthcare and not just pay lips service. If government officials adhere strictly to medical consultations only in Nigeria, who knows, the situation could get better.
Written by Tolulope Oladele