By Asma’u Ahmad
The Federal Government on Tuesday announced special intervention funds for tertiary and specialist hospitals in the country. The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, made this known at the opening ceremony of the National Executive Council Meeting of National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) in Abuja.
Adewole said each teaching hospital would get N300 million, Federal Medical Centres N120 million each, while each Fistula Centre and Specialist Hospital would receive N120 million to improve healthcare delivery. He said beyond the intervention in the federal facilities, the federal government would also make a special intervention at hospitals in each zone of the six geo-political zones in the country.
“In our 2018 budget proposal we plan to install chemotherapy centres in all federal facilities and the government is building capacity for surgical oncology across the country. “Each of the centres will have a capacity for either cardiac or renal cancer treatment, but Maiduguri has opted for trauma centre in addition to the cardiac or renal. “As we move on things will get better for the hospitals offering more opportunities for training,’’ he said.
The minister enjoined the medical doctors and healthcare workers to join politics to improve their working condition and facilities. “The more doctors we have at the national and state assemblies and state governors the better for Nigeria’s health system,’’ Adewole said. “Politics is not dirty but if it was practiced in a dirty way you get soil, so let us join politics. It is not enough to have a voters’ card we need to push more. “At the Senate Committee on Health there is one doctor, and there is no harm in having more than two doctors in such committee and make a change, ’’ he added.
Earlier, Dr Ogechukwu Chinaka, National President of NARD, said the meeting was critical because it provide avenue for the key stakeholders to harmonise ideas on funding the health sector. He said the meeting was themed: “Making Nigerian hospitals work better: A national imperative’’. Chinaka said the meeting focuses on the important fulcrum of Nigeria’s healthcare delivery system particularly hospitals.
Prof. Mike Ogrima, the National President, Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), urged the resident doctors and other healthcare professionals to instil inter-professional relationship. He said the attitude of doctors to themselves, patients and health professionals has to be improved. He regretted that Nigeria was faced with Lassa fever outbreak in the last few weeks. The NMA president advised all medical doctors not to attend to victims of such ailments without protective kits.