Monday, 26 October 2015

Nigeria: NMA urges President Buhari to reconsider dissolving the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria and declare emergency in the health sector

To strengthen the nation’s healthcare system and ensuring better access, the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to, as a matter of urgency, declare emergency in the health sector.

The association is also calling for the appointment of a Chief Medical Officer of the Federation as a way of adding extra bite to the co-ordination of the nation’s health delivery.

The National President of the association, Dr. Kayode Obembe, who spoke with newsmen yesterday ahead of NMA’s Physicians’ Week, said: “We strongly await the appointment and assumption of office of the Minister of Health. A lot has suffered in the absence of a Minister of Health for the nation. However, this scenario of leaving this sort of vacuum could have been avoided had our successive appeals for the re-establishment of the office of – and appointment of the “Chief Medical Officer” of the Federation. This office was last held by Sir Dr. Samuel Layinka Ayodeji Manuwa CMG, OBE in the First Republic – the golden era of progressive development in healthcare delivery in Nigeria.”

The NMA chief, who stated that Buhari’s government was wrong in dissolving the Board of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), said: “As we speak today, there is no functional regulation for medical practice in Nigeria due to the wrongful dissolution of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria.”

He, therefore, appealed to the President to exempt the medical council from the “sweeping dissolution of other political boards of corporation and agencies of government.”

Also on the call for immediate implementation of the Health Act, he said: "We also wish to use this medium to restate our earlier call for our country to start the implementation of road-map towards achieving Universal Health Coverage. Today, there is an enabling legislation, which provides guaranteed funding for primary healthcare delivery. This is the National Health Act 2014. What is still holding us back? It is also our position that unless Nigeria embarks on community-based health insurance scheme, the dream of expanding the coverage and achieving the targets set for the National Health Insurance Scheme would still be a mirage."

Just wondering if there's no more MDCN, which body will issue practising licences?

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Can you guess the diagnosis?

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