NMA rallies NASS on establishment of Bank of Health for enhanced service delivery

*Establishment of a Bank of Health will help to curtail the menace of brain drain in Nigeria, as those medical doctors who left the country in search of greener pasture will find it expedient to return ─Prof. Innocent Ujah, President of NMA

Emmanuel Akosile | ConsumerConnect

For further strengthening of the country’s health system for effective and efficient service delivery, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has urged the House of Representatives to enact a law for the establishment of Bank of Health.

Prof. Innocent Ujah, President of NMA stated this when the association paid a courtesy call on the leadership of the House of Representatives Wednesday, December 2, in Abuja, FCT, agency report said.

The NMA President said like the country currently has the Bank of Industry (BoI) and Bank of Agriculture (BoA), the Lower House of the National Assembly (NASS) should consider making a law that would allow for the establishment of Bank of Health.

Such a move, he stated, would help to curtail the menace of brain drain.

Besides, those medical doctors who left the shores of Nigeria in search of greener pasture would find it expedient to return, said Ujah.

He called for a more inclusive approach in health policy legislation.

The NMA Chief also solicited the assistance of the Federal legislators to stop brain drain in the country.

He warned if nothing is done to halt the trend, Nigeria’s health system might just collapse.

He urged the House to look into members’ retirement age, noting that in developed countries, medical doctors in their 80s were still engaged in training of young doctors.

Ujah further called for improvement in funding and budgetary allocation to the sector.

This would help to improve the health system, he noted.

Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives, disclosed he was fascinated with the idea of “Health Bank” by the NMA.

The House would explore it and sought members’ input, assured.

Gbajabiamila stated: “We cannot talk of nation building without healthcare system.

“We will keep pushing for any bill that will make our health system functional; we will work with you to achieve that.”

According to the Speaker, the COVID-19 pandemic had brought to fore the vulnerability of the Nigerian health system. He said the House of Representatives would consider the retirement age issue, since doctors in developed countries still worked at 80.

The health sector has one of the highest budgetary allocations totalling over N1 trillion in the 2020 Budget, he added.

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