Committee of CMDs decries poor funding of hospitals

The Chairman, Committee of Chief Medical Directors (CCMDs) and Medical Directors (MDs) of Federal Tertiary Hospitals, Prof. Thomas Agan, has decried the country’s poor healthcare delivery

Agan, who is the CMD of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH), stated this in an interview yesterday.

According to him, “the bottom line for Nigeria is the universal health coverage,” in the primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare delivery in the country.

While lamenting the poor funding of the health sector, he commended President Muhammadu Buhari for improving the budgetary provisions in the 2018 appropriation.

He said: “There has been improvement in budgetary allocations to the health sector. But the question is whether the money is being released, especially in the face of the global recession.

“Presently, only a small percentage of Nigerians are covered by any form of insurance. Most of those who are protected are officials of government. Right now, over 70 per cent of the individual expenses in the health sector are done out of their pockets.”

He explained that under the universal health insurance, everything would be covered such that if a patient goes to the hospital, he or she would be aware that insurance had covered his expenses.

Agan added that the policy would enable both the farmer in the village and the wealthy man in the city to have equal access to basic healthcare.

On plans by the Federal Government to stop medical doctors in government hospitals from private practice, he said: “It is a move in the right direction, especially as it applies to those working in the public sector. The law that established the medical practice stated that one is free to engage in private practice as long as it does not interfere with his official duties.

Generally speaking, as consultants, if you run a hospital, it means that you could admit patients the way it is done at federal hospitals. But when you have private practice, it means that you could also admit patients.

“This move should not only end with doctors, but should be extended to scientists who open private laboratories, as well as pharmacists and physiotherapists.

He stressed that it is impossible to serve two masters at a time, noting that most public officers just bear the name that they are workers at teaching hospitals, federal medical centres or public hospitals, whereas they are permanently in their private facilities.



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