The President, World Medical Association, Osahon Enabulele, on Thursday, said that for Nigeria to meet the World Health Organisation’s standard of ratio of doctors to patients, the country needed to have not less than 250,000 medical doctors in its employ.
Osahon, who spoke as a guest speaker at the public lecture organised by the Federated Chapel of the Edo Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), in Benin City, however, lamented that Nigeria had less than 100,000 doctors, a figure he said was grossly inadequate to meet the doctors-patients ratio.
“The present situation by international standards, a doctor should be assigned to less than 600 patients but in Nigeria’s case, a doctor attends to over 3,000. So Nigeria needs over 250,000 doctors to cope with the current reality”
“There is less than 100,000 registered doctor in Nigeria, let’s say it is 98,000 doctors according to the last update’.
“Out of these 98,000, only 50,000 are actually practicing in Nigeria,” Enabilele bemoaned.
The WMA president stressed that for Nigeria to have good healthcare system, there must be political commitment by the Nigerian leaders to meet the Abuja Declaration of dedicating 15 percent of its budget to healthcare provision.
He decried how political leaders in the country traveled abroad to queue up before seeing less qualified doctors to check blood pressure they could conveniently do Nigeria.
Enabulele, however, identified lack of funds, inadequate infrastructure, unemployment, workplace conditions, remuneration, brain drain, economy, inflation and ineffective healthcare among others as problems facing Nigeria’s health system.
“Because of these problems senior doctors, consultants are moving out of Nigeria in drove because of greater remuneration,” he said.
This, he said resulted in low quality of healthcare delivery in the country.
He called for improved political commitment, empowered healthcare work, improved working conditions, recognition of value and professional work of the medical practitioners, stop medical tourism for political leaders, make wages to be competitive to change the narrative in the health sector.
He said Nigeria government must create a better living condition for the people including the medical profession, saying a lots of people want to come back home when the country is better.
“There is need to establish Health Service Commission that would better administer the health system and drive medical man power, training, best human resource, develop plan among others,” he submitted.
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