NMA says universal health coverage, right of every Nigerian

Dr. Kayode Obembe

Dr. Kayode Obembe

President of the Nigerian Medical Association, Dr Kayode Obembe, yesterday said in Abuja that universal health coverage is the right of every Nigerian, which they must seek to enforce.

Obembe explained that this right is guaranteed in the Constitution, where it is clearly stipulated that it was the responsibility of government to take care of the health needs of all citizens at primary, secondary and tertiary levels.

According to him, instead of using the provisions to better the lots of Nigerians with regards to health, government has insisted that health is on the concurrent legislative list, making states and local governments to enact laws apart from the federal.

The NMA president, who made the disclosure to the News Agency of Nigeria, noted that this clause has usually been used to the detriment of Nigerian citizens. He restated that every citizen has the right to enroll and enjoy any payment made by government to subsidise NHIS services.

According to him, the role of universal health coverage, which encapsulates all needed requirement on health services, was aimed at ensuring that citizens have right to affordable and qualitative healthcare without any impediment on household expenditure.

Besides, Obembe said that patients have the right to consultation, history taking, examination, diagnosis, investigation, prescription and management. “As a consultant, the patient has the right to know everything about him or her but the only thing is whether he has right to case note which is another thing.”

Obembe reiterated “If a doctor treats a patient, it is the right of that patient, if he or she has medical report, to be obliged details of what he has done, how to continue management of such ailment, but it is not right to give the patient his or her case note,” he said.

He clarified that “Case note belongs to the hospital and is supposed to be kept there, but if you want your record it could be typed, summarised and handed over to you.”



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