The Minister of State for Health says the president wants to amend the laws relating to the health sector.
The Minister of State for Education, Dr Yusuf Sununu, has called for stringent laws to address quackery in the health sector.
Sununu made the call on Tuesday in Abuja, at the opening session of the 2023 Physicians week of the Nigerian Medical Association, Federal Capital Territory Chapter (NMA-FCT).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the physician’s week is “This is our chance to get it right in the health sector,” while the sub-themes is “The Abuja declaration – 22 years after,” and “The ethical issues in human organ donation.”
“I want to tell you that this issue of ridding the health profession of quackery is on the agenda of President Bola Tinubu. Laws are not there to serve as a deterrent,” he said, adding that the fines imposed on perpetrators also doesn’t measure up to the gravity of the crime they committed.
He said that with the ineffectiveness of the law, people do whatever they like in the health sector and this shows that the law doesn’t mean anything to the perpetrators.
Sununu said that to eradicate all these challenges bedeviling the health sector, the NMA-FCT, in collaboration with the national NMA must work in harmony with the promise of the president to get laws relating to the health sector amended.
He said that the problem affecting the health sector has affected it so much and has affected the practitioners.
Speaking on the funding of the health sector, Sununu said President Tinubu had said it several times that there was need for improvement.
“No one is saying the funding in the health sector is excellent, no. Mr President has said there is need for improvement, what the president is trying to do is to harness the country’s resources development.
“He is working towards ensuring the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of states improve. The president has said when you are going to repair something, you will experience some level of hardship, so we need to endure the present hardships we are facing.
“Those hardships is not going to last long. We must all endure and be persevere, we will continue to urge Nigerians for their understanding, the president is concerned and is working towards making this country better,” Sununu said.
Speaking, the Chairman of NMA-FCT, Dr Charles Ugwuanyi, who gave a brief explanation on how the physicians week began in 2016, stated that the idea started on social media with a group of people.
He said that the physicians week started with an advocacy group identified as Physicians Working Together (PWT) founded by Dr Kim Jackson sought to celebrate and acknowledge physicians everywhere.
He said the group started with the goal of relieving stress and foster connections among doctors, adding that the movement has come a long way and had helped physicians find better connections with each other and with their patient.
The Vice Chairman of the Chapter, Dr Eno Ekop, spoke on the welfare of doctors, saying that those who have chosen to stay back home instead of migrating like others, should be encouraged.
“It is not that we don’t have opportunity to leave but some of us have chosen to stay back in Nigeria, and to take care of the upcoming generation,” she said.
She also spoke about violence against doctors, saying that it was becoming a big issue.
Ekop called on Nigerians to take their grievances to the right channels by reporting the doctors to the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCAN) instead of offloading their frustration on doctors.