April 13, 2024

Resident doctors call for 15% healthcare sector budgetary funding


Akpan Umoh, Uyo

The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has called for increased budgetary funding of the healthcare sector in the country to 15 per cent annually.

The President of the association, Dr Innocent Orji, said this in a press conference/reading of communique at the end of the 3-day National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the association in Uyo on Saturday.

Our correspondent reports that the meeting tagged ‘Uyo 2023’ and with the theme: “Improved Welfare of Healthcare Workers: A Panacea for Brain Drain (Political and Doctors’ Perspectives)”.

According to Orji, the 15 per cent annual budgetary allocation would be in line with the 2001 Abuja declaration for healthcare financing in Africa and global best practices.

He said NEC of NARD also urged the Federal Ministry of Health to expedite action on checking brain drain by implementing the “one for one” policy on replacement of exited doctors and clinical staff.

“The National Executive Council (NEC) welcomes the committee set up by the Federal Government to mitigate the brain drain in the health sector.

“The Association urges a speedy conclusion of the task and immediate implementation of their recommendations to improve healthcare service delivery and reduce emigration of skilled healthcare workers from the country.

“NEC calls for increased funding of the healthcare sector in the country, to the tune of 15 per cent annual budgetary allocation in line with the 2001 Abuja declaration for healthcare financing in Africa and global best practices as well as the digitalisation of the healthcare services to improve the quality of healthcare delivery to Nigerian citizens,” Orji said.

Orji also said that NEC at their resolution urged the Chief Medical Directors of tertiary hospitals in the country to take responsibility for security in their various hospitals as NARD would no longer continue to watch her members being assaulted by staff, patients relatives or securty operatives.

He said the association called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to investigate and arrest the perpetrators of illegal shooting of one of its members in Delta and to ensure they are adequately punished to serve as deterrent to others.

“We demand that the affected doctor be adequately compensated for the trauma and the damaged vehicle replaced. The NEC gives IGP two weeks to get this done as we would review the situation at the expiration of the two weeks the situation and our stand would be taken thereafter if the response is not satisfactory,” he said.

Orji said the national executive council called on the National Assembly to make laws protecting the lives and wellbeing of doctors and healthcare workers as the rate of assaults against its members within and outside the hospitals were alarming.

He called on the federal government, the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and all stakeholders to prevail on the governors of Abia, Ondo and Ekiti to urgently pay arrears of salaries and allowances owed its member.

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