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Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Corrupt health sector needs investigation, NMA petitions government

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has called on President Buhari to replicate the recent clampdown on the judiciary over allegations of corruption in the health sector.

Speaking at a press briefing to announce activities scheduled for the 2016 edition of the annual Physicians Week, National President of the NMA Dr Mike Ogirima said a thorough investigation into the Federal Ministry of Health, its departments and agencies as well as tertiary hospitals was long overdue.

The 2016 Physicians Week has as its theme “Health care Delivery in a Frail Economy: Challenges and Way Forward”.

“We call on the FG to extend the anti-corruption crusade to all other sectors of the economy as it was done in the judiciary arm of the government.

“It is our belief that if this is extended to the health sector, the little resources available in the sector would be properly utilised to improve the affordability and accessibility of healthcare services to Nigerians passing through the economic recession,” Ogirima said.

Expressing his disappointment that the outcome of investigations by the health ministry into allegations of mismanagement of funds donated to the country for the control of malaria and HIV/AIDS by Global Fund has not been made public, he said “We are asking what is happening with the report from that committee. We want the report made public.”

The NMA president also decried the non-implementation of the National Health Act 2014, saying the association will hold a walk to protest government’s failure to implement the law whose activation he said would have greatly improved efficiency in the sector.

According to him, the delay in the implementation of the Health Act has resulted in the health system witnessing low out-of-pocket purchases of essential health care needs by families, along with the continued infrastructural decay in health facilities across the country.

“It is our belief that the implementation of the Act will address some of the aforementioned challenges being experienced in this economic recession.”

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