• News - South West - Oyo
  • Updated: May 27, 2024

Stakeholders divided over Makinde’s scorecard in health sector

Stakeholders divided over Makinde’s scorecard in health se

Stakeholders have expressed divergent opinions on Governor Seyi Makinde-led administration’s performance in the health sector in the last year in Oyo State.

The stakeholders expressed their thoughts in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan on Monday.

While some of them said that the governor deserved commendation for what they called his giant strides in the health sector, others were, however, of the opinion that he needed to do more.

The acting Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, in Oyo State, Dr Happy Adedapo, noted that challenges, such as inadequate number of qualified health professionals, insufficient quantity of drugs and other consumables were still prevalent in most primary health centres, PHCs, in the state.

According to Adedapo, manpower gaps are also manifest in virtually all the primary, secondary and tertiary health institutions across the state.

“It is on record that a training institution like Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso has less than 80 resident doctors, whereas its federal counterpart, University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, has over 500.

“Unfortunately, these patriotic doctors have not been given what they truly deserve, such as medical residency training fund, hazard allowance and 35 per cent CONMESS upgrade, while they have been experiencing delayed promotion since 2017.

“Therefore, the government should, as a matter of urgency, implement the approval and prompt implementation of skipping for state doctors and new hazard allowance for all health workers.

“There is the need for recruiting more healthcare workers, full implementation of semi-autonomy to four general hospitals and extending same to other state hospitals to improve running and services.

“Government also needs to renovate more PHCs and upgrade some to ‘Band A’ status as well as collaboration between UCH and the state government to strengthen the manpower/specialised skills in the state services,” he said.

Adedapo added that the infectious disease centre at Olodo in Ibadan should be strengthened to cater for the state and indeed, the South-West zone.

“The government should also increase the budgetary allocation to the health sector because it is only the healthy people that can bring about a wealthy state.

“The current nine per cent budgetary allocation to health is grossly inadequate and cannot take the sector anywhere,” he said.

The acting NMA chairman also wanted the governor to acknowledge and reward the invaluable contributions of the ‘committed and dedicated’ health workforce in the state.

“The governor should maintain regular interaction with their professional associations in order to enhance regular feedback and partnership and improve healthcare delivery in the state,” he said.

Adedapo, however, lauded the government for refurbishing some PHCs and upgrading a few others to secondary health institutions, such as the State Specialist Hospital at Ring Road, Ibadan.

He also commended the state government for its plans to transform some PHCs into round-the-clock (24-hour) medical centres in a move to further enhance healthcare accessibility in the state.

Also, Dr Olumuyiwa Ajanaku, Chairman, Association of Nigerian Private and Medical Practitioners, Oyo State branch, urged the government to ensure that the PHCs were well-funded and empowered to make healthcare delivery at the grassroots more efficient.

Ajanaku added that the employment of more medical and health practitioners was imperative, as most PHCs and general hospitals were grossly understaffed.

“There is the need for more collaboration with the Association of Nigerian Private Medical Practitioners due to the fact that we take care of about 70 per cent of the populace,” he said.

Ajanaku noted that the state government, through the Ministry of Health, led by Commissioner for Health, Dr Oluwaserimi Ajetumobi, had achieved so much in the last year.

Part of the achievements, he said, was the formation of an all-encompassing Anti-quackery Task Force which, he said, had reduced quackery to the barest minimum in the state.

He stated that so many quacks had been arrested, prosecuted and jailed in the state.

Ajanaku said that the government, in its bid to bring affordable healthcare to the people at the grassroots through the State Primary Healthcare Board, had been able to build new PHCs and renovate some of the existing ones.

“Most of the health centres have now attained the status of general hospitals,” he said.

Ajanaku also acknowledged the renewed collaboration between the Ministry of Health and his association, which is the umbrella body of all private hospital owners in the state.

“Some palliatives were given to our members to serve as a relief due to the current economic condition.

“The state government is poised to ensure that all the health and medical practitioners in the state have attitudinal change to work.

“Also, medical outreaches have been carried out on a regular basis for the past year, while many free surgeries have also been carried out among our people at the grassroots,” he said.

Similarly, the Medical Director of Our Lady of Apostles Catholic Hospital, Oluyoro, Ibadan, Dr Francis Sanwo, identified the provision of qualitative healthcare as one of the four main pillars of Makinde’s administration.

Sanwo said that the governor started gradually during his first term in office and had improved on it in the last year.

According to him, continuous upgrading of PHCs, secondary healthcare facilities and tertiary health centres is part of the government’s achievements,” he said.

Sanwo further stated that there had been ‘minimal improvement’ in the State Health Insurance Scheme, urging the government to look at things like capitation, especially as costs of drugs and other medical items were rising daily.

He, however, called for a review of multiple taxation, saying that this had been having negative effects on many private hospitals across the state.

Also, the Chairman, Association of Medical and Dental Officers, Oyo State branch, Dr Solomon Olaoye, said part of the government’s achievements was the approval and implementation of skipping for doctors working with the state government.

Olaoye also lauded the government for the approval and implementation of a new hazard allowance for all cadres of health workers in the state.

He, however, advised the government to address the issue of shortage of health workers as a matter of urgency.

“Issues of non-upgrade of healthcare facilities, non-availability of record materials in our hospitals and stoppage of grants to hospitals should also be looked into.

“Part of the ways forward is also for the government to tackle the non-availability of laboratory and dental materials in many of our hospitals and dental centres in the state,” Olaoye said. 

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