Simon Utebor, Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State Government has challenged medical professionals to come up with suggestions to improve healthcare delivery in Nigeria.
The Deputy Governor of the state, Rear Admiral John Jonah (retd.), gave the charge when the leadership of the Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria paid him a courtesy visit at Government House, Yenagoa.
Jonah said, “I want you to come up with policies and ideas that will actually enhance the healthcare delivery system of the country considering our own local environment.
“I have always challenged transplanting of ideas from advanced countries to our own side. We are not there yet. Those are facts. But fortunately, I’m sure most of you are exposed to the areas that things happen.”
He lamented that most people die in the country because they cannot afford medical services.
He noted that “it is not easy for average Nigerians to go for major surgery.”
He told the MDCAN delegation that the state government was implementing several health policies and programmes to enable the people to have access to quality healthcare delivery, including a contributory health insurance scheme which is backed by law.
Jonah said that the health sector was second to the education sector in the scale of preference of the Governor Seriake Dickson-led administration since its inception in 2012.
He lauded the association for choosing to hold its NEC meeting in Bayelsa and wished them successful deliberations.
In his remarks, the national president of MDCAN, Prof. Ngim E. Ngim, explained that the association was in the state to hold its three-day National Executive Council meeting in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
Ngim, who teaches at the University of Calabar, lauded the significant achievements of the administration in the health sector and the implementation of the Consolidated Medical Salary Scale.
He, however, urged the government to properly fund the state-owned College of Health Technology, Otuogidi, and also ensure the provision of adequate medical facilities and equipment at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri.
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