NIGERIA: Nigeria Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige has said that Nigeria cannot afford one doctor per 600 patients as recommended by the United Nations (UN).
According to the Minister, Nigeria is still a developing nation and not a developed nation like the United States.
Ngige said Nigeria, as a developing country, will find it very difficult to meet the recommendations of the United Nations (U.N) and the World Health Organization, (W.H.O) of the ratio of one doctor to 600 cases.
Ngige said this at the two-day quarterly meeting of the Nigerian Health Commissioners Forum in Abuja.
The Forum themed, “Building a stronger health sector in Nigeria through collaboration and strategic partnership” had Commissioners from all the states in Nigeria where discussions on how to strengthen the health system at all levels across the country and achieve the common goals of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
“How many doctors are there in the rural areas and the suburbs since everybody is in the urban area”, Ngige noted.
Ngige further said that the country has more than 4,000 people, including those trained abroad, registered with the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN).
Role of States
Lagos State Health Commissioner, Akin Abayomi has asked the governors to create a suitable environment accessible to doctors in their respective states adding that this would reduce the number of doctors leaving the country.
“Now, Nigeria is not talking about brain drain, but about how our doctors should return to the country”, Abayomi said.
The Director-General of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), Chikwe Ihekweazu told the Commissioners that states play an important role in the fortress to improve public health and safety.
Ihekweazu, who was represented by NCDC Special Director, Priscilla Ibekwe added that the country is responsible for people’s health, including the preparation and response to infectious diseases.
“Each country has the resources, expertise and experience to enhance its response to Coronavirus infections and other infectious diseases”, Ihekweazu added.