#SoundOff: Nigeria Needs A Minister of Health Not A Minister of Doctors

#SoundOff: Nigeria Needs A Minister of Health Not A Minister of Doctors

By Opinions | The Trent on October 16, 2015
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hospital monkeypox medical nigerian
File Photo: NIgerian hospital ward in Port Harcourt

by Toroko Amos

The health ministry is an inter-professional sector, previous health ministers seem to forget this simple fact, they focus all their energy trying to serve the interest of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) at the expense of other professional interest in the health sector.

Nigeria need a change from the past, we need a minister who will separate his/her personal professional interest and commitments from affecting his duties to Nigerian people, and make quality health care delivery utmost priority instead of welfare and interest of doctors.

Most ministers in recent past have failed the sector and country due to their inability to remove their primary professional constituency interest from interfering with their roles as ministers of health, they left other professional group to languish in neglect resulting in many unnecessary industrial unrest.

They ended up becoming ministers of doctors, rather than ministers of health, a ministerial candidate was asked during the ongoing senate screening what he will do to prevent industrial unrest in the health sector and he started talking about engaging resident doctors because he is a medical doctor, how about the nurses, pharmacist, medical scientists, physiotherapist …..

An example is the recent past Minister of health Prof. Oyebuchi Chukwu, who refused to obey all court rulings favouring other health professionals, but will quickly implement those favouring his immediate constituency the NMA and MDCN.

Healthcare delivery system need a team work approach, every professional must be carried along to achieve desired results and goals. Nigerians deserve the best quality health services, our people should not die of preventable infections.

Diseases and infections should not be death sentences, the lives of the Nigerian people should not be at the mercy of unhealthy professional competition and rivalry. Nigeria is in need of a Health Minster who understand this fact.

Toroko Amos is a medical scientist, columnist, and public affairs commentator. You can reach him by email HERE.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

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