Senate stops creation of the OSG for non-stop flimsy medical trips
The Trade Union Congress, the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) in Nigeria and the Nigerian Medical Association have said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s medical trip shows the country’s declining health infrastructure as a result of underfunding.
NARD said the Federal Government should urgently carry out health reforms such as the creation of the Office of the Surgeon-General and the implementation of the 2014 National Health Act, which would correct the underfunding in the health sector.
NARD President, Dr. Onyebueze Ugochukwu, said on Monday in an interview with Punch News that the Senate had continued to frustrate the creation of the Office of the Surgeon-General of the country so that flimsy medical trips would not be stopped.
“We have always stated it that the President’s situation calls to question the creation of the Office of the Surgeon-General or the Chief Medical Officer of Nigeria. He is the one to state categorically the state of heath of the President and other public office holders.
“Some weeks ago, the Senate, for political reasons, refused to approve the creation of that office. They know that once you have this office, it becomes difficult for some of them who travel overseas for flimsy health reasons because the Surgeon-General would have to give approval.
“We must ask ourselves why Nigeria does not have a Chief Medical Officer who is an authority to speak on matters of ill health of public officers in the country.
“Secondly, it calls to question the state of the hospitals in the country. The health sector is declining. The World Health Organisation in a survey in 2013 on 190 countries ranked Nigeria 187th in the health sector.
“In the area of manpower and health personnel, Nigeria has the best crop of medical practitioners. Our clinical acumen is very excellent. We also want the government to implement the National Health Act which was passed in 2014. The act encompasses the primary health sector and its funding.”
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