The Chairman of the Lagos chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Tajudeen Salau, has urged political leaders to prioritise strengthening the country’s health system.
Dr. Salau stated this while speaking during the Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the association, themed, “Healthcare Workforce and Infrastructure Development in Nigeria: Setting Agenda for the Next Political Dispensation.”
According to him, strengthening the nation’s health system, is crucial to providing quality healthcare services.
He said, “The theme of the conference was carefully selected because the health care workforce and its infrastructure is our primary focus and interest.
“As we roll into a new political Dispensation, we don’t want to be laid back, so we start setting the agenda to better the health care delivery system.”
The Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Wole Alakija, stressed the importance of health insurance.
Alakija, who is also a Professor of Community Medicine and Child Care, said, “Poor health insurance coverage has denied many Nigerians access to hospitals, promoted self-medication, and resulted in unpreventable death and complication of ailments that hospitals can treat at low cost.
“We had the slogan during the beginning of the Primary Health Care era as health for all Nigerians by the year 2000. This was never achieved now we are in 2022. The new Health Insurance Act that puts it that all Nigerians will be insured for good health by 2030 appears a laughable slogan.
“If the 2022 Act makes it punishable not to be insured, offender getting five years imprisonment and also two million naira fine, one wonders how practicable this will be.”
Also speaking, the Local Organising Chairman of the event, Dr. Joy Chionuma, said universal health coverage was central to the actualisation of quality health care delivery for patients.