By Becky John
The West Africa Region of the Commonwealth Medical Association has urged President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, to institute global competitive wages for health professionals. This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday by Dr Osahon Enabulele, the association’s Vice President for the West African region. It urged the president-elect to revive the nation’s health sector by first of all adopting measures that would the check exodus of professionals to foreign countries.
“We expect the President-elect to work hard to restore public confidence in governance through realistic reforms among which should be institution of globally competitive wages for medical doctors/health professionals.
“This the government must also back with a robust and dynamic health human resource development plan, amongst other progressive steps,’’ the statement said.
It said the entire world was watching how the incoming administration of Buhari would address what it described as nagging challenges militating against health sector development in Nigeria. According to the statement, the policy for the development of manpower for the health sector was presently not effective hence the dearth of manpower in many facilities in the country.
It said Nigerians deserved a health sector that was not just effective and efficient but one that would serve the needs of Nigerians irrespective of their social standings. The statement listed issues of priority for the incoming government to include restriction of government’s funding of travels for foreign medical treatment by political and public office holders.
Other areas of priority listed in the statement include improved political commitment to Nigeria’s health sector and the fundamental health rights of Nigerians. The association particularly advised the incoming administration to show strict and committed implementation of the National Health Act, which it said should be the fulcrum of development in the sector.
It also charged the incoming administration to equally pay attention to issues of corruption and institute discipline and integrity in governance.
The group urged the new administration to leverage on Buhari’s personal record and integrity to sustain the show of confidence demonstrated by many Nigerians on March 28. It congratulated Nigerians, INEC and President Goodluck Jonathan for the successful conduct of the Presidential/National Assembly polls.