Medical Doctors in Imo state have called on the federal government to prioritise the health sector by implementing the Abuja Declaration that made provision for the allocation of 15% to the public health system in the country as obtainable in other developing countries.
This was part of the advocacy made by the Nigeria Medical Association Imo state during their 2023 physicians week held in Owerri.
Speaking during the one week event, the chairman, NMA Imo state, Dr. Chidi Nnaemeka Obiesi said, the theme of the year, ” This Is Our Chance To Get It right in the Health Sector” is ideal as the country is facing lots of challenges in the health sector especially the brain drain of health practitioners.
He disclosed that the federal and state governments should focus on the health sector to reduce mortality rate, curtail capital flight and brain drain of health care practitioners.
He stated that the federal government should adopt the Abuja Declaration with its accruing benefits especially as it made provision for health insurance.
He futher disclosed that the physician’s week is significant as it’s a way of giving back to the society, it’s set aside for medical professionals to interact, exercise, dine and wine with their families to reduce stress associated with their profession as well as charting a new course in their profession.
While speaking also on the sub theme ” The Abuja Declaration, 22 years later, Dr. jide Ikenna Egwim who also received an award as the Distinguished Medical practitioner, said the target of the declaration since 2001 is yet to be implemented, as the public funding of the health sector is still in the decline in Nigeria and health indicators are worrisome.
He disclosed that research shows that public health spending advances health outcomes relative to private spending and urged the federal government to use the 15% proposed budgetary allocation as yardstick.
Jide also said that the effects of the low funding are life expectancy which has become less than 55years, infant and maternal mortality rate and others as he noted that the health indicators compared to other African countries is poor.
He further disclosed that the resultant effect also is massive barin drain as Medical practioners both fresh and established doctors leave the country for greener pastures.
Also speaking Dr. Uwom Eze, who spoke on Ethical Issues in Human Organ Donation said there is need to condemn organ trafficking which is detrimental to human lives
A consultant peadeatrics Surgeon, Federal University Owerri, Dr. Igwilo Innocent said most of the Teaching hospitals are under funded, ill equipped and does not function optimally. He disclosed that some of the medical schools have lost accreditation which affects the quality of young doctors that are trained.
He said due to the brain drain, most doctors still working in the country are over worked and may not carter for the surging health need of the citizens.
Speaking to news men after receiving an award as the Distinguished Medical practitioner (4DMP) Dr Lambo Igwe, chief Medical Director Uzzi Clinic expressed joy over the recognition given to him by the Association. He advised the masses to pay attention to their health to be strong and achieve longevity. He also advised his fellow medical practitioners to also take care of themselves as their work is stressful one.
Dr. Ajuonuma chukwemeka Bennett an Associate professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Madonna University College of Medicine who also received an Award of Distinguished Medical practitioner thanked the Association for the gesture and urged the federal government to pay proper attention to the health sector.