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Doctors bemoan state of public hospitals

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Medical experts have lamented the poor facilities and inefficient service delivery in public hospitals in the country. They decried the high cost of treatment in the hospitals.

The medical gurus included the co-founder of Eko Hospital, Dr. Sonny Kuku; the Group Managing Director of First Foundation Medicals, Dr. Tosin Ajayi, and Lagos State Commissioner for Health Dr. Jide Idris.

They spoke at the third reunion meeting of the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University OAU) 1981 medical set.

Ajayi noted that people were running away from tertiary hospitals that were first choice of foreign patients. He said most of the hospitals lack potable water and functional toilets, lamenting that government now spends less on health.

“If you don’t improve on healthcare delivery, you can’t improve on the economy; the intelligence we have today cannot cope with quality,” he said. He advised that government should fix the primary healthcare system that serves the large segment of the populace. He added that statistics has shown that about 33 per cent of the children are immunised yearly.

Kuku said people travel abroad for medical check-up because they have lost confidence in the facilities available in the local hospitals. He called for massive refurbishment of public hospitals. Besides, he said, government should make medical service accessible to the people through health insurance. According to him, one of the problems facing patients is how to settle their bills. If the government can provide health insurance scheme for the citizens, the fear of going to hospitals for treatment would be removed.

Idris said the health sector is horrible because the facilities are very poor; human resources are a total disaster. The commissioner said the medical professionals have a role to play in saving the system from total collapse.

The guest lecturer, Dr. Lawunmi Oluboro, who spoke on “Quality of healthcare in Nigeria,” said people die because of certain things that are affordable. She described the country’s healthcare system as appalling.

Oluboro, who is of the Society for Quality in Healthcare in Nigeria, said less than 20 per cent of Nigerians were covered by the National Health Insurance Scheme.

According to her, the problems of healthcare in Nigeria include high cost of treatment, medical errors on patients, lack of trust on the part of patients, obsolete facilities, brain drain and inefficient manpower.

The highpoint of the event was the presentation of merit award to professional who have contributed to healthcare development.

The recipients included Osemowe of Ondo Kingdom, Oba (Dr) Victor Kiladejo; Dr. Kuku; Dr. Ajayi; Dr. Idris; Dr. Tolu Aladesuru; Dr. (Senator) Olorunnimbe Mamora, Prof Chris Bode, chief medical director (CMD), Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH); Prof Adetokunbo Fabanwo, CMD, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), and Dr. Segun Akinnusi.

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