The vice-chancellor, University of Ibadan, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has identified weak governance, inadequate funding, and political instability as factors militating against qualitative health care delivery in the country. He said this at the 36th scientific conference of the Association of Resident Doctors, Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu chapter. He maintained that health care delivery had not been given due attention.
Adewole, who spoke on ‘Health care sector reform: The emerging concepts,’ noted that apart from the enumerated factors, over-reliance on foreign grants/funds in addressing health care challenges had made the country to be at the beck and call of some developed countries, to the detriment of internal development.
The don was also worried about the increasing burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases in Nigeria and other parts of Africa, stressing that this was due to the fact that most people in the country and African sub-region had adopted Western diet.
Adewole said there had been little or no profit from the series of international conventions and conferences that had been held internally on health-related issues; noting that even when recommendations were made, funding had been the major challenge to the implementation of such recommendations. While assessing the health reform efforts in Nigeria, he maintained that for any health reform to be successful, it must be sustained, remain purposeful and it must produce fundamental changes in the health sector.
He said, “For a true health reform to be successful, there must be proper study of health situation in the country, and thorough analysis, as well as a design of how to come up with the desired changes.” In their separate remarks, Chief Medical Director, Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Alfred Jayesimi; and the Commissioner for Health, Ogun State, Dr. Olaokun Soyinka, admitted that the health sector in Nigeria was not where it should be.
They noted that series of challenges such as incessant strikes by health workers and doctors, among other issues, had worsened the situation. They solicited the support and collaboration of all the stakeholders in the sector in order to place the health sector in vantage position.