Let’s Declare State of Emergency on Health. -Hon Magaji

Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Health, Honourable Amos Magaji has called for the declaration of a state of emergency on health in the country to resolve the challenges posed by mass exodus of health personnel from the nation’s institutions.

Speaking in an interview Tuesday morning with the crew of ‘Your View’, a Television Continental programme, he identified poor remuneration, backlog of salaries and lack of equipment in health institutions as some of the primary causes of migration of health workers.

Hon  Magaji said that from his findings and that of the House committee, the long process of filling vacant positions due to stringent conditions was one of the reasons for inadequate health personnel, adding “for health workers we need to do a waiver in the processes of filling vacancies which is one of the immediate steps to fill in the gap”.

He told his interviewers that the mass exodus was one of the direct consequences of the COVID 19 pandemic which revealed the serious lack of impact of infrastructures in the health institutions, especially the T
teaching hospitals.

The health committee chairman called for the increase in health allocation in the budget which he said over the years had been abysmal and with the resultant pressures on existing health facilities.

He also identified delay in the payment of salaries and lack of adequate remuneration for health workers, especially doctors and this he said, ”make them seek their fortunes elsewhere.’

Beside prompt payment of salaries, he called for other incentives which would retain experienced staff.

President Bola Tinubu

In order to find lasting solutions, the lawmaker said his committee, as part of its oversight functions, had commenced dialogue and discussions with unions in the health sector in order to identify and address the fundamental problems responsible for exodus.

He confirmed that in his discussion with some medical staff of Federal Medical Centres, lack of incentives, obsolete equipment and issue of quota system had impeded recruitment of replacement.

Dr Maiyaki spoke of the need for institutions concerned to waive the long processes and set aside the quota system of recruitment which had prevented institutions from recruiting needed manpower.

It would be recalled that the University of Lagos Teaching Hospital have had to close down five wards of 150 beds due to mass exodus of its personnel outside the country for greener pastures.