Worried about the huge economic loss due to medical tourism, health professionals have called for total review of the Nigerian health sector with a view to providing better healthcare services for Nigerians.
In the views of the Managing Director, JNC International Limited and President, Healthcare Federation of Nigeria (HFN), Mrs. Clare Omatseye at the 7th Annual Thanksgiving Dinner and Awards of HealthPlus Limited with the theme: “Expanding Our Frontiers” in Lagos recently, blamed most challenges in the health sector on poor funding.
Omatseye who lamented poor health budget by the Federal Government regretted that Nigeria could not meet WHO recommended 15 percent budgetary allocation for health. “Nigeria only spends 6.1 percent.”
Omatseye noted that the meagre amount apportioned to the sector, 82 percent of it goes to recurrent expenditure (paying of salaries) leaving little to nothing for the provision of infrastructure and development of the sector.
Stating that Nigeria is still lagging behind in terms of healthcare, she stressed ýthe need for a concerted effort by relevant authorities to curb the rise in brain drain and patient drain which she noted not only affects our economy but also the health of the citizens. She said there are 64, 000 registered doctors in Nigeria but only 34, 000 are practicing.
“The same number of registered doctors who are Nigerians are outside the shores of the country doing very well and providing quality healthcare to citizens of other nations while there is a big gulf in patients to doctor ratio in the country which is now one doctor to 5000 patients as opposed to one doctor to 700 patients recommended by WHO.
Speaking, the Founder and Managing Director, HealthPlus Limited, Bukky George has reiterated the company’s resolve of becoming the household name in pharmaceutical business in the country and help in delivering quality.
Speaking at the event where she rolled out the long-term plans of the company, Bukky who rolled out a long term plan for the organisation said the company will establish additional 48 new branches to its existing 40 by 2015 adding that a cumulative 200 branches scattered all over the country by 2018 was already on the pipeline.