The Commonwealth Medical Association (CMA) has applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing competent professionals as ministers to oversee the affairs of the health ministry.
The association gave the commendation in a statement signed by its Vice-President, Dr Osahon Enabulele.
Enabulele said that the appointment of Prof. Isaac Adewole and Dr Osagie Ehanire as Minister of Health and Minister of State for Health respectively would give the sector a new lease of life.
“Mr President’s appointment of the duo is undoubtedly a courageous and intelligent move to get competent, honest, experienced and broad-based professionals to administer the Federal Ministry of Health.
“It will also progressively re-engineer Nigeria’s health sector.
“I, therefore, wish to applaud Mr. President for appointing these fit and proper professionals with unquestionable pedigree and remarkable achievements.”
Enabulele, who is a former President of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), congratulated Adewole and Ehanire on their well-deserved appointments.
He also congratulated Dr Amina Shamaki who was appointed as the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health.
He, however, urged the ministers to quickly settle down to work and handle the task of re-engineering Nigeria’s health sector.
“They must now address their minds to earnestly and sincerely tackle the numerous challenges facing Nigeria’s health sector.
“In this regard, it is my expectation that in formulating their programme of action, certain considerations will be made.
“These include the institution of an inclusive and participatory governance model in the health sector as well as an altruistic commitment to the 2014 National Health Act.
“They should also include strengthening, monitoring and evaluation of the institutions for delivering health services to Nigerians, while restoring public confidence, discipline, integrity, professionalism and best practices in Nigeria’s health institutions,” he said.
Enabulele also called for the expansion of Universal Health Coverage in the country by pursuing the much-awaited enactment of the National Health Insurance Commission Act.
According to him, this can also be done by strengthening the National Health Insurance Scheme.
“It will include the scaling up of its Community-Based Social Health Insurance component and the sincere exploration of other avenues to improve on the current dismal percentage of health coverage of Nigerians.”
He said that the issue of medical tourism should be addressed particularly via the implementation of the relevant provisions of the National Health Act.
He said that the Act had some provisions which restricted government’s funding for foreign medical treatment of political and public office holders.
Enabulele also charged the ministers to re-position the Nigeria’s Health Human Resource, with particular emphasis on the institution of robust and dynamic Health Human Resource Development Plan.
According to him, this will help to address issues such as appropriate training, retraining, improved welfare and competitive wages for medical doctors and other health workers.
Enabulele pledged the association’s partnership with the health ministry in efforts to execute the projects so as to enable them to meet the legitimate desires and expectations of Nigerians with regard to improved health care delivery.