Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State says the priority agenda of his administration is to decongest the state healthcare sector within the next four years. He made this assertion earlier today at the Scientific Conference/Annual General Meeting of the Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN) Lagos Chapter.
Sanwo-Olu, represented by Prof. Akin Abayomi, Commissioner for Health, said that the state government would strengthen capacity of the Primary Healthcare Centres (PHC) to deliver quality healthcare to the citizens of the state.
The governor said that strengthening PHCs had been identified as the key to bring changes to healthcare delivery in the state, drive development and decongest secondary and tertiary health institutions.
Sanwo-Olu said that there was complete political will to ensure that healthcare delivery in the state was topnotch, and also improve the welfare of medical professionals.
The governor said effective implementation of the plan would stem the tide of medical brain drain and convince health workers to stay behind and contribute to the development of the country’s health sector.
He said that it would integrate technology to deliver quality healthcare to citizens while calling for deeper collaboration among health stakeholders in the public and private sector to achieve its plans.
Also, Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, said in spite of government’s willingness and efforts to address grey areas in the health sector, challenges that inhibits quality healthcare delivery still persists.
Obasa decried that laws regulating private medical practice had been exploited by some medical professionals who had neglected to uphold the ethics of the profession.
The speaker said that the assembly would formulate legislation to ensure care of health workers for safe and efficient healthcare delivery in the state.
“We appreciate the selflessness of our healthcare professionals, and we will do all within our power to ensure that medical practitioners are comfortable in the discharge of their duties,” Obasa said.
Also, Dr Saliu Oseni, Chairman, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Lagos State Chapter, said that welfare of medical professionals was a concern that should be quickly addressed.
Oseni said: “The profession is a humanitarian profession, yet to hear that it is now philanthropic. Reason for the brain drain in the sector is the welfare of our colleagues.
“Our younger ones are leaving the country, not because of laziness, but due to poor welfare package. If the situation is reversed, we can assure you of their returns.”
Similarly, Dr Omowunmi Bakare, President, Medical Women Association of Nigeria, Lagos State branch, said that achieving quality care for medical professionals would be through collaboration of the public and private sector.
Others are: effective implementation of human resources for health sector and adequate healthcare delivery at the grassroots.
Earlier, Dr Tunji Akintade, Chairman, Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN), Lagos Chapter, said that the theme was chosen to assess the gaps in strategic plans of health reforms.
Akintade said that if the care of medical professionals was addressed, it would reverse the nation’s brain drain into brain gain, improve health indices and better health outcome.
According to him, it will enable pool of inadequate fund to be directed to equally demanding area of the economy.
Akintade said that the association, due to paucity of fund, had been unable to build a secretariat on the land given to it at Agege in Lagos by the former Governor of Lagos, Bola Tinubu.
He expressed optimism that the state government would take charge of the project to ensure completion to advance its quest for improving healthcare service delivery.
(NAN Agency Report)