President Muhammadu Buhari is currently presiding over the 43rd virtual Federal Executive Council, meeting at the First Lady Conference Room, Presidential Villa Abuja.
President Muhammadu Buhari has commended the resilience of Nigerian medical doctors despite the country’s fragile healthcare system, noting that the doctors have continued to rise up to the challenges any time there was outbreak of diseases as witnessed in the recent outbreak of COIVD-19 pandemic.
He implored the support of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) as his government works towards rehabilitating the healthcare sector to deliver a health system that is responsive to the needs of Nigerians.
Buhari, who was represented Friday by the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, at the 61st Annual General Conference and Annual Delegates meeting of the NMA held 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 government has made considerable investment in facility upgrade and expansion of the organisation in most federal and state hospitals in the form of isolation and treatment centres, adding that government was determined to strengthen the secondary healthcare and also reform the tertiary healthcare institutions across the country.
While appealing to doctors to stop the incessant strike to avoid setback in the system and needless loss of lives, President Buhari also said that the federal government needed the support of every Nigerian to deliver a more viable healthcare system to the nation.
Also speaking at the occasion, Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, said his administration has employed over 412 doctors and other health workers in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak.
“We employed more than 412 doctors and other health workers into the Plateau State health sector 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 from 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 state-of-the-art medical facilities such as CT Scan, MRI, and Digital X-ray,” he said.
Urging the federal government to provide modern medical equipment and consumables to enhance quality healthcare delivery to all Nigerians, the President, NMA, Prof. Innocent Ujah, demanded that the Nigerian government critically re-assess the sector and commit more to creating a conducive work and improved welfare for the doctors and other health workers.
He lamented that the global COVID-19 outbreak, which brought countries of the world to their knees, has exposed the negligence of government towards healthcare delivery.
According to him, several doctors and other health workers had to pay the supreme price for the survival of the country.
The Chairman of NMA in the state, Dr. Innocent Emmanuel, said Nigerians delight in the soothing euphoria of surviving the scourge of the ravaging COVID-19 which has claimed so many lives.
“We work under suboptimal conditions; our patriotism as evident by our persistence in giving our best in the course of delivering health care services to the teeming populace of Nigeria is unparalleled,” he said.
He explained that the theme of the conference, “Nigeria and the Global health Agenda 2030” was carefully selected to brace up with where the country stands and to speed up to where it should be in the struggle for a healthy Nigeria society despite COVID-19.