Opinion: Equip Nigerian hospitals like UK’s

There can be no better time than now to call
on the authorities in Nigeria to equip even a
few Nigerian hospitals like the ones in some
developed economies including the United
Kingdom where most Nigerian leaders always
have recourse to for medical follow -ups and
treatment. This has become a reproach to the
people if the government is unashamed about
this development.

Reasons for this reproach are not too far to
seek. In the past few decades, the health sector
has been characterised by a disturbing degree
of deterioration as the sector could not be
compared to what was obtainable in the 1960s
and 1970 s due to neglect by successive
administrations . This neglect has been
regularly decried by citizens and medical
associations in the country . Yet , there has been
no definite political action to address strategic
funding, in this regard passion . In fact, the
nation’ s health sector is groaning and now near
a total collapse. And there is no glimmer of
hope in spite of the billions of naira expended
on some tertiary hospitals by successive
administrations to equip even some teaching

Specifically, most of the equipment said to
have been installed in the selected teaching
hospitals in different zones are nowhere to be
found anymore as the hospital authorities have
not declared them useful to deal with
contemporary issues in healthcare . In fact, it
appears public funds expended to equip the
selected teaching hospitals at the beginning of
this democracy ( 1999- 2007) could not be
accounted for.

Indeed , that the nation ’s health sector is
nothing to write home about is evident on so
many fronts. Citizens who can afford medical
treatment abroad often travel as far as India ,
United Arabs Emirate and Egypt for cheap
medicare. The strong ones travel to Europe and
North America .

But the most telling example in recent time is
the treatment of our president abroad for
about a quarter of a year . It is an international
embarrassment and a further indictment of our
health- care system managers, our leaders at all
levels. It is social damage to us that we are
incapable of tackling the health challenges of
the number one citizen . Which speaks volumes
for the fate of the rest vulnerable citizens.
As a result of this embarrassment , the NMA
brought their position on the comatose health
sector to the fore through a communiqué by
stating that Nigerian doctors are competent to
handle any form of ailments if the enabling
environment and good working tools are
available. Besides , the frustrated physicians
said the President might have sought for
medical attention outside the shores of this
country as a result of ill-equipped hospitals in
the country.

The Nigerian Medical Association argued that
doctors in the country would have been able to
handle the president’ s health challenge if the
health sector had been properly equipped and
funded. Other factors hampering quality health
care in Nigeria include obsolete equipment and
the brain drain syndrome that began since 1985
no thanks to unhealthy operating
environment. Again, inadequacy of medical
facilities, high cost of drugs, sub-standard
drugs, wrong diagnosis , poor attitude of health
workers occasioned by poor remuneration and
resulting in the neglect of patients by medical
personnel, long waiting time for patients , etc
are all responsible for the despicable
healthcare situation in the country.

So, in Nigeria, patients die daily because the
nation is adorned with gigantic buildings that
are labelled hospitals but lack basic life saving
facilities. This may account for why the NMA
has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to
replicate in Nigerian hospitals the medical
equipment he saw in London during his
treatment. The medical association officials
encouraged the president to do this before the
end of 2019 . 

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