Health union advocates revitalisation of healthcare system

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The Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) has
appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to revitalise the nation’s healthcare
system by returning the management of health institutions to hospital

Josiah Biobelemoye, the President of the union, made the
call at the 10th quadrennial delegate conference with theme, “Advancing
National Campaign Toward Good Governance, Poverty Alleviation and ‘ Health for
All’ for Development”.

Biobelemoye explained that hospital administrators have not
only been trained for such functions but also possess the professional attitude
to manage these institutions without fear or favour of any professional body.

The MHWUN president, who described the past four years as
the worst years in the health sector, attributed the challenges to the selfish
interest and insensitivity of those at the helm of affairs in the sector to the
plights of the masses.

Biobelemoye identified some challenges facing the healthcare
system to include attempt by government to lean toward the policy of capitalist
west to privatise health institutions.

He emphasised that the privatisation train made efforts to
justify its implementation by insisting on PPP and outsourcing, among other
necessary measures, in order to curb incessant strikes in the sector.

He however appealed to Buhari to take special interest in
the health industry by reversing the current trend of having a medical doctor
as the Minster of Health, Minster of State for Health as well as Labour and

“As long as government does not make conscious efforts to
break this monopoly by medical doctors, a monopoly of self serving, Nigerians
will continue to suffer for it.

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“Not even privatisation that is presently heating up in the
Federal Ministry of Health would halt this destructive nose-diving of the
health indices of Nigerians.

“Under this guise, the focus is no longer patient oriented
but self serving motives leading to not only corruption in the system but
management of the sector by very ill-equipped, professionals that have
abandoned their clinical and theatre duties for management assignments,” he

“If the President chooses to appoint a medical doctor as
Minister of Health then somebody from among healthcare service deliverers
comprising 90 per cent of the workforce should be appointed as Minister of
State for Health.

“The sector witness a lot of challenges in the past years
simply because both Ministers of Health are medical doctors and the Minister of
Labour which ought to be a neutral person is also a medical doctor.

“This is why no matter how genuine issues bothering on poor
healthcare delivery contested by other health workforce the Minister of Labour
and Productivity could not sum up that courage to address the issues.

“That is why the plights of other health workers even the
ones passed by court judgment were denied while doctors were secretly given
those entitlement they are not entitle to base on the judgment.

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“Any issues from other health workers outside medical
doctors were treated or water down with very efficient negative propaganda
hence the crisis lingers.

“Privatisation, Public Private Partnership, concessionning
or whatsoever are ways to put more money in their pockets at the expense of the
poor people in Nigeria,” he said.

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