An Asaba-based surgeon, Dr David Maduemezie, has called on the Federal Government to establish a health development bank, to help provide fund for the nation’s health sector.
He said that good public health was essential to the development of any economy, especially a developing one such as Nigeria.
He said it was expedient on government to provide the needed capital base to enable health professionals carry out their responsibilities to the society.
Maduemezie, a renowned surgeon and Chief Medical Director of Maduemezie Memorial Hospital, Asaba, said that adequate funding was paramount to achieving the country’s health goals.
“We need a health development bank to provide a platform where individuals and professionals in the health sector can get financial support to build their capacity to deliver quality health services.
“Just as we have the agricultural development bank that provides farmers with a support base, so also we need a special bank for the development of the nation’s health sector,” he said.
He explained that poor funding had crippled the nation’s health sector, pointing out that high cost of modern medical equipment had made it impossible for many Nigerian hospitals to attain good standard.
Maduemezie said the ugly situation in the nation’s health sector had resulted in medical tourism abroad, for the treatment of ailments, many of which could be handled in the country.
He said that Nigeria had many experienced health professionals willing to provide standard health facilities and services in the country if provided with the needed financial support.
“Primarily, government should, as a matter of great importance, improve the quality of our health facilities and also provide the capital base so that we can run a standard medical system.
“There are only three facilities for radiation therapy for cancer in the nation. One is at the National Hospital Abuja, another at LUTH, Idi-araba and the other at the University Teaching Hospital, Ibadan.
“This number is grossly insufficient, considering the growing number of cancer cases in the nation. Even these three facilities break down every now and then.
“If you go there, you will see a long queue of cases waiting to be attended to,” Maduemezie said.
The chief medical director said that the procurement of facilities for radio therapy and some other medical machinery to handle special health challenges was capital intensive.
He said the government must give urgent attention to the nation’s health sector. (NAN)