Govt Should Prioritize Healthcare in Nigeria – Onwubiko

By Chioma Ndife

A public affairs analyst, Mr. Polycarp Onwubiko, has advised all the tiers of government in Nigeria to prioritize healthcare, given the fact that healthy citizens are necessary for human capital development.

Onwubiko who spoke to Fides in Awka, Anambra State, referred to the lamentations of the National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, who, he said, disclosed that for the past two years, the country had lost over 2,000 medical doctors to countries overseas where, he said, far better conditions of service were available.

He also said more than 4,000 medical doctors were on the verge of migrating to developed and technologically advanced countries of the world for greener pastures.

Onwubiko regretted that Nigeria had failed to adhere to World Health Organization’s recommendation for one doctor to 600 patients, disclosing that now, with the increasing number of doctors migrating to developed countries, the ratio of doctor to patient had become one to 1,000.

The public affairs analyst suggested that government should look inwards to find viable options to extend the retirement period of medical doctors to 70 years to serve as incentive to the doctors remaining in the country, especially the in specialist areas, which, he said, were crucial to healthcare delivery.

Onwubiko further advised government to look into the demands of the medical personnel in respect of welfare packages and the working environment.