Over the weekend, the OLF (presumably a group or organization) disputed the National Assembly’s proposal to require a mandatory five-year medical practice in Nigeria, stating that it would not be an effective solution to the deteriorating state of the healthcare system.
Over the weekend, the One Love Foundation (OLF), a nonprofit organization, opposed the House of Representatives’ proposal to impose a five-year mandatory medical practice in Nigeria, stating that it is not a solution to the deteriorating health sector.
Chief Patrick Eholor, the Founder and President of OLF, advised the National Assembly to focus on reviving the ailing health system and improving the welfare of medical and dental practitioners, as well as equipping federal and state hospitals and primary healthcare centers.
He urged nonprofit organizations to intensify their efforts to assist the country’s healthcare system, citing the OLF’s successful interventions in public healthcare facilities and its recent call for the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, to address the Sickle Cell Centre in Benin.
He said: “My overview in the subject matter is that the bill makes no sense either to the medical practitioners or to the average Nigerians, it is only inconsiderate leaders who don’t show sympathy or concern for those they are ruling that will make an attempt to pass that bill.
“I don’t think so, let us examine this and see if it’s really brain drain, ‘brain gain’ or ‘brain drain’. These words are being conceptualized in the dictionary of the street.
“Let us examine the ‘Gain and Drain’. In 2022, the total Nigerian budget was N10.740 trillion. Diaspora remittances were $20.9 billion which is N9.718 trillion. Meaning few persons abroad brought more cash into Nigeria (and those few persons majority are from the brain drain) than what the Nigerian Government earned and spent.
“The bill is only going to restrict the doctor for some certain number of years and that again also opposes the constitution, especially in the area which talks about freedom of association and movement.
“I don’t think they will honour it because who doesn’t like to travel? Instead of passing this bill why can’t they pass the bill that will limit politicians and any top-level officeholders from travelling outside Nigeria to get medical health care? Nigerian doctors, as far as I am concerned would not honour this.
“The health sector is not well positioned as far as I am concerned, there are things that need to be put into place. In order for the health sector to be well positioned, the Nigerian government needs to first raise the salaries of doctors because they are the life savers, and then equip all Federal and State hospitals, not just equipping them but putting measures in place to ensure that those equipment are intact for many years.
“The hospitals need befitting edifices and also the NHIS needs to be looked into. Then above all, politicians must not leave this country to get medical treatment elsewhere, they must remain here to suffer or enjoy what an average Nigerian is suffering or enjoying.”
Eholor emphasized that it is unnecessary to seek private sector investment in the health sector. He argued that the more private investors contribute, the greater the burden on the average Nigerian to pay for medical bills, and he cautioned against the negative consequences of making medical treatment unaffordable in Nigeria.