Dr. Babatunde Rosiji, the Chairman of the Ekiti State Branch of the Nigerian Medical Association, expressed concern over the detrimental impact of the soaring exchange rate on the well-being of Nigerians, citing the exorbitant prices of medications and medical resources that have surpassed the financial means of common citizens.
Rosiji said, ‘Patients on medications for chronic illnesses such as hypertension and diabetes are finding it difficult to access an uninterrupted supply of drugs, just as patients are not finding it easy to present early to the hospitals for economic reasons’.
Addressing the press during the 2023 Physicians’ Week in Ekiti, the NMA chairman stressed the need for governments to take immediate action to prevent any unimaginable situations.
Rosiji said, ‘While health insurance is beginning to take root, the price of drugs in the insurance scheme is out of touch with current realities. If this continues unchecked, your guess is as good as mine.’
Furthermore, he appealed to the government to reconsider its decision to halt funding for the Medical and Dental Council from the upcoming year, highlighting the urgency to avoid an imminent crisis.
‘The job of MDCN, which is regulation of medical and dental practice is so important that funding it by the government is appropriate. If we stop funding the MDCN, I wonder who will want to do it. Probably the doctors and dentists will take over funding a body that regulates and may punish them if necessary,’ he said.
The NMA chairman, who said the brain drain in the sector hurt the health and families of doctors, expressed hope that ‘the community we serve will recognize this and appreciate the few hands remaining rather than antagonize and fight them.’
‘We as an association are exploring all peaceful avenues towards securing some economic reprieve for our beloved members. Despite the increased workload occasioned by the worsening brain drain, our members across all the hospitals have taken it upon themselves to provide clinical services that are rendered seamlessly.’
‘I must single out the Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Biodun Oyebanji, for his dogged commitment and resolve towards making the health sector in Ekiti State work.’
‘While we have made a resolve to toe the path of advocacy and dialogue in the interest of Ekiti people, we have been equally blessed with a governor who has listening ears and who is accommodating of positive ideas,’ Rosiji submitted.