A Medical Practitioner, Dr Tony Momoh, has advised the government to fix dilapidated health infrastructure and provide equipment to make the health sector more functional.
Momoh, who is the Medical Superintendent of Primus International Specialty Hospital, Karu near Abuja, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.
He said that medical personnel could only be trusted to be dedicated if they work in a conducive environment, with functional equipment.
“In most government health facilities, equipment is not properly maintained. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for instance, in Nigeria, it can only be done in private hospitals.
“Radiotherapy is hardly available for cancer patients. The Machines were installed in Ibadan, Lagos and in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, but they are not working.
“Our medical infrastructure is dilapidated and medical practitioners, doctors or nurses, do not want to work in dilapidated structures.
“We need to fix our infrastructure and make our medical equipment work. We have enough personnel and our laboratories are well equipped but the problem is maintenance,’’ he said.
The medical doctor also advised the government to expand the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to further improve access to basic healthcare in the country.
“We need to strengthen our NHIS; presently it is weak and restricted to only civil servants, and not all ailments are covered.
“All citizens should be entitled to NHIS. If the scheme becomes robust, the cost of treatment will drop.
“Now only the Health Maintenance Organisations (HMOs) are benefitting from NHIS.
“If we can cut the barrier and ensure that NHIS becomes all-encompassing and accessible, even to the farmer in the village, our health sector will improve,’’ he said.
Momoh further advised the government to increase annual budgetary allocation to the health sector and cut down bureaucracy involved in procurements for the sector.