Two medical practitioners, Dr Ejike Orji and Dr Henry Ewunonu have both blamed leadership at all level for the deplorable state of Nigeria’s healthcare system.
The assertion was made Wednesday while discussing the cut in 2020 Health budget, COVID-19 and doctors strike in Nigeria, on a radio program, PUBLIC CONSCIENCE ON RADIO produced by the Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development (PRIMORG), a civil society organization.
Lamenting the poor state of healthcare in Nigeria, Dr Orji said that the nation over time has been bedevilled by wrong people who have been running health affairs with politicization. Decrying the way healthcare is funded in Nigeria, he stated that in other climes about 12% from each worker’s salary is set aside for healthcare needs.
“As we speak almost 3 or 4 billion naira is trapped in National Health Insurance Scheme because the Act says that the money cannot be spent without insurance.
“50% of this money is supposed to go to primary healthcare, while 45% set aside for insurance.”
On his part, Dr Ewunonu frowned at attempts by the federal government to touch budgetary allocation for the health sector. He lamented that it was shameful for governors to continue maintaining their flamboyant lifestyle where as in their communities primary healthcare centres fall far below standard.
On COVID-19 management and expenditures, Dr Orji said the nation is facing serious economic woes due to the pandemic, he further revealed that following projections and analysis by team of experts headed by him, the government spends about N1.7 Million on COVID-19 patients admitted in isolation centre, while testing of COVID-19 costs N50,000 each.
On the striking residents doctors, the duo faulted federal government’s inability to fulfill their promise to Nigeria Association of Resident Doctors, NARD.
Listeners on the programme were, however, divided on whether the doctor should embark on strike during COVID-19 pandemic or not. Many urged the doctors to call off the strike due to poor masses who cannot afford seeking medical attention in private hospital, while others believe the government has all it takes to sort the doctors out
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