One Love Foundation, OLF, a nonprofit making organization, has challenged the national assembly.
The OLF during the weekend, challenged the National Assembly, saying imposing a five-year compulsory medical practice in Nigeria is not a solution to the comatose health sector.
Speaking against the move by the House of Representatives, the Founder and President, OLF, Chief Patrick Eholor, said the National Assembly should be more concerned about reviving the ailing health system and should focus on boosting the welfare of medical and dental practitioners and equipping the hospitals at the federal and state hospitals and primary healthcare centres.
Eholor said non-profit making organisations should also intensify efforts to help the country’s healthcare system, which One Love Foundation has over the years, helped more than 3000 Nigerians in providing for those in need of treatment as it had intervened in some public healthcare facilities, which recently it called on the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki on the Sickle Cell Centre in Benin, and so far things have been going well at the moment in that Centre.
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.”
However, he (Eholor) asserted that there is no need to call for private sector investment in the health sector, pointing out that “the bigger they invest the bigger the treatment bill will be a burden to an average Nigerian and we already know what will happen should medical bills become expensive in Nigeria.”