As UCH Ibadan clocks 60, Vice President Ayo Osinbajo gives a frank assessment of health sector

Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Ayo Osinbajo, has affirmed that the health sector in Nigeria is still struggling with lots of issues, he said this in Ibadan, Oyo state capital, while speaking at an event to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the country’s premier teaching hospital, the University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan.

“The last few decades have not exactly been a stellar period for healthcare in Nigeria,” the VP said.

He ascribed the reason for this unfortunate incident to the hydra-headed problems of underfunding, neglect and corruption.

In the penultimate week, both online and print media published the frustrations expressed by Dr. Muyiwa Odusote, the Chairman of the Lagos State’s branch of the Nigerian Medical Association on the incessant flight of professionals to nations like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Canada, US and the UK where welfare package for medical professionals is better.

 He said: “Already, it takes a new patient two to three hours to see a doctor. Over 100 doctors have resigned from the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan this year and about 800 doctors resigned from Lagos State hospitals in the last two years, and over 50 in November alone”.

Dr. Odusote spoke further: “Kebbi State has been unable to employ a single doctor in two years despite multiple adverts for employment, over 200 doctors and nurses have resigned from the Ladoke Akintola University this year.

“Seventy per cent of Nigeria doctors are making plans to leave for foreign lands and are taking exams to that effect”, Odusote concluded.

Explaining his administration’s commitment to changing the tides of this ugly development by luring those professionals to the country stated the panaceas and blueprints to achieving a most effective turnaround for the country’s healthcare system, Osinbajo related:

“Medical workers know more than the rest of us that, without acknowledging and diagnosing a condition, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to prescribe and implement the appropriate solutions.

“First, we must create the right conditions at home, by investing in infrastructure, and vigorously fighting the corruption that underlies much of the decline and rot”.

“We must also as a matter of urgency redefine our approach to healthcare delivery, management of healthcare institutions and enabling the private sector a prominent place in our delivery”.

Concluding, the Vice President lauded UCH’s giant strides in the nation’s healthcare especially in its pioneering efforts in nuclear medicine, heart and brain surgeries in Nigeria. He observed that in 2012, UCH became the first in Africa to open a Geriatric Centre in Africa – the Tony Anenih Geriatric Centre.

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