While we all wish the president a speedy recovery, I am worried that as the biggest black nation in the world we cannot treat our president within our nation hence this write up. Although Nigerians must realise that the president deserves the best medical service available anywhere in the world we should not make this a recurring trend.
Nigeria as a nation is at an inflection point and we require a drastic change for quick transformation. Like most developing nations, the health care sector is beguiled with macro and micro challenges. A storm is brewing with a serious requisite to address the needs of a population of 180 million citizens. Nigerians should accept the fact that the government is overwhelmed with numerous problems and is not adequately prepared to solve the health quagmire affecting the nation alone for now. Therefore the onus lies on the citizens to rise up and save the nation with the right approach. The numerous issues plaguing the Nigerian health sector are varied including financing, infrastructure, policy and education.
There is an urgent need to stem the ongoing brain drain in our health sector, like every other sector, the writer finds it bizarre that Nigeria as a nation trains doctors and allied medical professionals at subsidised tuition for other nations to reap its benefit.
Life is basic and health care is for all therefore , the challenge is on all stakeholders , the Nigeria Medical Association , the private universities, churches, Islamic bodies, corporate organisations and private individuals to fund and equip world class health facilities.
I specifically mentioned churches because this writer believes they are financially ok to take the lead same way they had contributed to the development of tertiary education in Nigeria. It is my opinion that every private university in the country can fund world class health facility or have specialised health facilities.
Nigerians need to understand that most treatments received abroad are late palliative measures rather than proactive health approach due to issues of delayed detection of ailment, travel logistics and procurement of travel visa. Sadly, this is the cause of most news report on the death of people who sojourn for health solutions abroad.
If we as a nation take lesson from the health sector models in the India nation through private sector participation we will be able to forge a path of progress to the plethora of problems in the health sector. This will show us the genesis and where we might head to deliver a private sector driven health care model for better health care.
There is a big chance for growth in effective health payment mechanism, pharmaceutical and medical devices industry. At this crossroads of reduced oil earnings the nation can make an estimated saving of $2.5b yearly, thus reducing the demand on foreign currency and shoving up the naira strength. Investment in the above industries will also provide the much desired education for the teeming youth population and cement our readiness as a nation interested in diversifying the economy.
We can’t continue to go to the UK, USA, India, UAE, South Africa, and Gabon etc for health solutions. I am sure certainly the nation can resolve this unfortunate situation with steady plan and action. There will savings on direct medical bills, pharmaceutical bills, hotel bills, feeding, flight and other travel expenses which will all be spent locally thus providing jobs.
ZAID O OLANREWAJU
HARROW , MIDDLESEX , UK
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