Private medical institutions in Nigeria have been urged to reduce the high cost of their services in Nigeria. The appeal was made by wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari during a courtesy visit by officials of the Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria at the State House on Wednesday 11th April, 2018.
Mrs. Buhari observed that many Nigerians who do not have access to public health services resort to private hospitals which are very expensive and this has implications on not just the patients but the nation’s health indices.
“Private health care is expensive, your association needs to revisit the issue of charges” she called on practitioners to “make treatments affordable so that more people can access your services and health outcomes can improve” She said.
She also lamented the brain drain in the health sector, saying people travel abroad mostly to be treated by Nigerian practitioners. She urged for better working conditions for them so that they are encouraged to remain in Nigeria.
“I also urge your association to check cases of malpractice by private hospitals, which are becoming more rampant. She urged.”
She recommended a Public-Private Partnership, whereby private sector firms can invest in the health sector and reduce the burden on government.
“That is why I am convening a stakeholder event soon, to draw their attention to the possibilities and opportunities in the sector.” She said.
President of the Association, Dr. Frank Odofen, commended wife of the President’s commitment to the health of women and children through the Future Assured Programme, which dovetailed into her recent appointment as UNAIDS ambassador, believing that with her passion, health care indices will improve in Nigeria.
President of World Organization of Family Doctors, Prof. Amanda Howe, who was on a two-day visit to Nigeria, observed that the pronouncements and programmes of Mrs. Buhari are worthy of emulation as the challenges in the health sector require strong commitment. She also noted happily that medical personnel embedded in communities in Nigeria are doing wonderful jobs by providing support and preventing diseases through education of families, patients and health workers.