ASSOCIATION of Resident Doctors, ARD, of University of Abuja Teaching Hospital Gwagwalada has urged government on quick implementation of National Health ACT, NHA, in order to reduce the rising cases of maternal and child mortality rate. President of the Association, Dr Uche Ifeanyi had made this call during a recent protest in Abuja, over non-implementation of the National Health Act 2014. He said, “We need to address some of these issues or else, it will lead to the total collapse of the health sector. We are saying that Nigerians should benefit from universal health coverage; We have the law that has been signed in 2014. “In the National Health Act, there is a provision called basic medical expense which should be like one per cent of the consolidated revenue of the federal government and 50 percent of it is to provide basic health care to the vulnerable to be run by the NHIS and this include mothers and children under the age of five so that our under five mortality can drop. “We need to state here that 70 per cent of health care expenses are borne out of pocket in Nigeria. That is wrong. Even in countries like Ghana, it is about 29 percent; Angola is about 10 per cent why should Nigerians be 4.7 per cent when people have to pay for health care; it delays the work we do as doctors and then preventable death occur and these deaths are blamed on us so we need the government to implement this Act. “We also notice that there are
selective implementation against doctors and this gives us cause of concern. We doctors are always the target. Also the issue of ‘no work, no pay’, we understand is a government policy, but were these policies only directed at doctors when they are on strike. The list is endless.” Ifeanyi further advocated for funding of Residency Training programmes, stating that the training just like others that other people attend so it should be sponsored. “There should be a white paper released. The Atayobi committee was set up and has finished one year ago and submitted its report to the ministry. What is the result of that? We need to know what is entitled to residence training. Let it not be subject to hospital policies that is what we are asking for.
“The infrastructural problem in the hospital is bad. A lot of Nigerians are travelling out of the country for treatment; it makes us look stupid as if we don’t know what we are doing. It is simple let this ACT be implemented. He said, “For instance, the WHO implementation for health care is 11 percent while ours is 4.7 percent, adding that the Abuja declaration of 2001 that was done here by All African Union which Nigeria is a signatory, said that 15 percent of Nigeria budget should go to health. He however bemoaned a situation where Nigeria is operating at 4.7 per cent and to worsen the situation, the foreign exchange, forex, has wipe out almost the whole money that has been allocated for this year. Any country that cannot get health and education right, I don’t know what will become of that country.

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