Privatization not solution to Nigeria’s health sector challenge- Health Workers Union

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The Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) have asked the federal government to return the management of health care institutions to hospital administrators as a first step towards revitalizing the health sector.

The union’s leadership made the call at its 10th quadrennial delegate conference with the theme ’’Advancing national campaign toward good governance, poverty alleviation and ‘Health for all’ for development”

While discussing ways to move the sector forward, President of the health workers union, Mr. Josiah Biobelemoye said entrusting hospital management in the hands administrators would reduce the friction in the system and provide avenues for unbiased advice to government.

‘‘ A situation where all health institutions are managed by medical doctors to the exclusion of other very qualified health professionals  is has always been a basis for invitation of contestation and thus acting as a major bane on good health care delivery’’ he says

But evidently these assertions are not the only problem of the nation’s health care system.

The massive health tourism by the rich, brain drain of health experts, health workers strike, poor infrastructure and management of health facilities are all problems the union say is the result of governments’ attitude towards health care.

According to Biobelemoye, governments’ attempt to privatize tertiary health institutions in effort to curb workers strikes is not the solution to Nigeria’s health care challenge.

‘‘Under the guise of privatisation, the focus is no longer the patient but self-serving motives leading to corruption in the system and ill equipped medical personnel who have abandoned their clinic duties for management assignments’’

He called on the President Buhari to take special interest in the healthcare industry and reverse the trend and attempts by a few to enrich themselves using the nations’ healthcare system.

For the health workers, the current decay in Nigeria’s health care system can only be reversed if the president tackles the alleged corruption at the federal ministry of health and divest leadership of the healthcare system from only medical doctors.

Meanwhile a former General Secretary of the Nigerian Labour Congress, John Ogah challenged the union to set up a fund to assist health workers who are posted to insurgency ravaged areas.

He also appealed for the rehabilitation of families of health workers killed in the line of duty in the North east

 

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