President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the Federal Government is determined to strengthen the secondary healthcare sector and reform the tertiary health institutions across the country.
He commended the resilience of Nigerian doctors, despite the country’s fragile healthcare system, noting that they continued to rise to the challenge during disease outbreak as witnessed in the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).
He implored the support of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in the revitalisation of the health sector to deliver a system that is responsive to the needs of Nigerians.
Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Health, Professor Osagie Ehanire, at the 61st Annual General Conference and Annual Delegates’ Meeting of NMA, yesterday, in Jos, Plateau State, observed that the country’s health system “has a long way to go” in meeting the demands of Nigerians.
He, however, said that his government had invested considerably in facility upgrade and expansion of most federal and state hospitals in the form of isolation and treatment centres.
While appealing to doctors to stop incessant strikes to avoid setback in the system and needless loss of lives, the President added that the Federal Government needed the support of every Nigerian to deliver a more viable healthcare system to the nation.
Speaking at the occasion, Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, said his administration employed over 412 doctors and other health workers in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak to boost the capacity of the system to respond to the needs of the people in both rural and urban areas.
“We shall continue to employ more, especially as we complete the new hospitals under construction. Aside signing into law the bill establishing Plateau State Specialist Hospital, we have continued to upgrade its facilities. At the moment, we are about to acquire another upgrade with medical facilities such as Computed Tomography (CT) Scan, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Digital X-ray.”
Urging the Federal Government to provide modern medical equipment and consumables to enhance quality healthcare to all Nigerians, President of NMA, Professor Innocent Ujah, urged the Federal Government to critically re-access the sector and commit more to creating a conducive work environment and improved welfare for the doctors and other health workers.