Strike: How doctors, other health workers should table demands

Strike: How doctors, other health workers should table demands

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The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has once again blamed past leaders especially, former President Goodluck Jonathan for the rot in the health sector despite the huge resources within its coffers.

Osinbajo stated this yesterday in Abuja while representing President Muhammadu Buhari at the 58th annual delegates meeting and scientific conference of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA).

He was of the opinion that Jonathan administration squandered the opportunity provided by the oil boom of 2010 to 2015 to improve the fortunes of Nigeria’s health system.

According to the vice president, their predecessor failed to seize the moment and invest in the health sector when the global price of crude oil was over $100 barrels per day.

Apart from Jonathan and the past leaders, Osinbajo also stressed that the insurgency in the North-east which started within the same period further brought the health sector to its knees with the attendant impact on the level of immunisation and availability of medical personnel

He stated: “It is no longer news that we inherited a troubled health care sector and the sector has been troubled for a long time. As one of the manifestations of the severely low spending on infrastructure generally and in health care in particular, I think that what we have seen through the years is a scandalously low level of funding for public health care in Nigeria.

“The level of public sector investment in health care in our recent past has in no way reflected our earnings, the high oil earnings, especially in the period between 2010 and 2015. That was when we earned the highest from oil prices.

“Add to this, a devastating insurgency in the North-east, which succeeded in bringing an already tottering health system in that part of the country to its knees, with the attendant impact on immunisation levels and the availability of medical personnel. There were some issues that consumed a substantial part of our attention, and these issues were among them: the problems with the healthcare sector, poor funding and of course, the North-east and the threat of the spread of some diseases, some of those diseases that had been under control on account of the fact that it had been extremely difficult to reach some parts of the North-east until a couple of years ago.”
Osinbajo who spoke on the theme: “Quality Healthcare: An Indicator of Good Governance”, appealed to the striking health workers to return to work noting that while investments in public health care must be improved, it is unlikely that it would be sufficient.

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