The 36 state governors of the union were urged to domesticate the federal government’s health insurance programme on Sunday by the National Association of Government General Medical and Dental Practitioners.
According to Dr. Sofiri Peterside, the president of Nigeria, domesticating the health insurance programme throughout all states would aid in lessening the difficult socioeconomic circumstances that Nigerians presently experience in Akwanga, Nasarawa State.
At the conclusion of the association’s National Executive Council meeting, he informed reporters that the programme was greatly advantageous to federal public workers as well as their counterparts in the states that ran it.He objected to instances in which doctors were forced to either treat patients without insurance or pay their costs.
Peterside emphasised that a national health insurance programme for all citizens will significantly help meet Nigerians’ healthcare requirements, particularly those of the weak and impoverished.
He noted that the healthcare industry was facing a problem with brain drain since some of the top employees were leaving for more favourable circumstances.He attributed the departure of medical professionals on inconsistent policies, inadequate welfare benefits, and insecurity.
He observed that the few doctors who had chosen to remain in Nigeria despite the unfavourable working conditions were under too much strain due to the lack of medical professionals.He added that the doctor-to-patient ratio in Nigeria is one physician to almost 20,000 people, compared to the WHO’s estimate of one doctor to roughly 600 people.
Peterside further demanded that the Federal Government revoke the rule requiring Directors on Grade Level 17 to retire involuntarily after eight years of service.He maintained that the policy discouraged advancement in one’s career, especially for medical professionals.
“Medical doctors, for example, enlist in the government either on Grade Level 12 or Grade Level 13 following graduation.
After a few years, the physician reaches Grade Level 17.”The doctor’s retirement age is around 50 or 52 years old if he is required to take an obligatory retirement after serving for eight years.”If a skilled physician is compelled to retire at age 50 or 52, he would rather go to a country where his salary is higher.
Peterside asserted, “He will continue to work there after the age of 60.”Additionally, he urged all levels of government to bolster security surrounding healthcare facilities in order to prevent the ongoing kidnapping of medical professionals.
Peterside also demanded that medical facilities be upgraded in order to reduce medical tourism, as well as an upward assessment of doctors’ Hazard and Call Duty allowances.
“It is imperative that all levels of government promptly institute a new minimum wage in order to mitigate the negative impact of the elimination of fuel subsidies,” he charged.
Speaking to reporters as well, Dr. Thomas Gonji, the association’s chairman for Nasarawa State, said the gathering provided them with a chance to exchange experiences and come up with ideas for how to advance the health industry.
Delegates from the 36 federation states as well as the Federal Capital Territory attended the association’s three-day NEC conference.