Senate Tries To Block Loss Of Income And Outflow Of Doctors
The Senate has taken action to stop eluding medical tourism revenues after considering a bill aimed at reducing the number of Nigerians traveling to other countries for medical treatment.
Aishatu Ahmed (APC, Adamawa Central) sponsored the bill, entitled “Law on the Establishment of Federal Medical Centers, 2021”.
Leading the debate on the bill, Ahmed said the lack of a legal framework for the regulation, development and management of federal health centers that sets standards for health care delivery is an obstacle to the provision of intensive, effective and efficient health services. medical services to the people of Nigeria.
The legislator argued that lack of funds, weak premises and infrastructure, poor motivation of health workers, low budget, low accountability, conflicts with state political structures and industrial strikes weakened the effectiveness of health services across the country.
He noted that the adoption of the bill will reduce the number of Nigerians who have to travel to other countries for treatment.
The legislator complained that an average of 20,000 Nigerians travel to India annually to receive medical care due to the lack of a reliable health care system in Nigeria.
Ahmed also noted that the legislative act will also sufficiently relate to the remuneration of employees of medical centers, which, in turn, will control the outflow of doctors and nurses to other countries.
According to her, “77 percent of black doctors in the United States are Nigerians, and in the United States or Europe there is rarely a top-level medical facility where you will not find Nigerians running at the highest level.
“Not a year goes by without a major national strike by nurses, doctors or health consultants. Low wages and lack of public investment in the health sector are the main reasons for these strikes.
“A recent UNICEF report says that” preventable or treatable diseases such as malaria, pneumonia, diarrhea, measles and HIV / AIDS are responsible for more than 70 percent of Nigeria’s estimated 1 million under-five deaths. “
Participating in the discussion, Yahaya Oloriegbe (APC, Kwara Central) said that Federal Medical Centers have become incapacitated due to lack of legal support for their establishment and insufficient funding.
“We have about twenty-three federal medical centers that have been established throughout the country, but without legal support.
“The consequence of all this is what I would call political somersaults in relation to the activities of these centers.
“You see some centers that have enough facilities and staff to be called university hospitals, but since the legal framework has not set standards in terms of infrastructure, labor and services, they stay that way and it becomes the whims and whims of political leaders. Federal Ministry of Health.
“The implications for the distribution of funding: Federal medical centers receive less funds than university hospitals,” the deputy said.
After passing the second reading, the bill was submitted to the Health Committee for a report within four weeks for further legislative action.
Meanwhile, the upper house has also spoken out against any form of instability in all forms of employment in the public and private sectors of Nigeria.
Source: – Working day