The President of the Nigerian Medical Association, Dr Mike Ogirima, on behalf of the National officers committee and entire membership of the Nigerian Medical Association hereby congratulates his excellency, president Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, President and commander in chief of the armed forces of the federal republic of Nigeria on his one year in office as president of the federal republic of Nigeria, today 29th May 2016.
We also heartily congratulate the president of senate of the federal republic of Nigeria Sen, Dr bukola Saraki, the speaker of the house of representatives Rt Hon, Yakubu Dogara, all the members of the national assembly, the judiciary, state governors, honourable ministers, commissioners and all officers of state at all levels on this historic occasion.
No doubt, the outgoing year was fraught with teething problems and witnessed many developments on both sides of the scale. We nonetheless applaud president Muhammadu Buhari for openly associating himself with healthcare delivery issues, Nigerian Medical Association and for other health friendly initiatives since he assumed office especially in the ares of high level advocacy and open demonstration of routine immunisation, revamping of primary health care, expressed committment to operationalise the National Health Act 2014 and reconstruction of healthcare structures destroyed in the wake of insurgency in the North East.
As medical doctors and dentists who perform painful procedures and even prescribe interventiions that could cause pain on the path to recovery, we acknowledge the pains many nigerians especially the ordinary man is passing through occasioned by the bitting poverty and worsening economic realities in the country today. However, strengthened with the unwavering faith in the unalloyed committment, transparent honesty, untainted trustworthiness and methodological approach belying the mastery of the tested technocrats working the leadership of the natioiin at the federal level, we are hopeful that soon, the pains would diminish and light will appear at the end of the tunnel
Given the strategic importance of today with the subject matter – good governance in mind, the NMA wishes to advise our nation as follows:
1. Prevention is cheaper, easier, safer and better than cure especially in the face of austerity, we therefore renew our call for all Nigerians to inculcate the culture of periodic medical check-ups by first consulting their doctor; avoid self medication; avoid abrupt stopping of medications without the direction of their doctors; avoid mixing of orthodox medicines with herbal/native remedies etc. In furtherance to this, we appeal that the federal government should declare a NATIONAL CONSCIOUSNESS DAY FOR HEALTH AWARENESS AND MEDICAL CHECK-UPS in which the ideals of healthy living including helathy nutrition and food safety, regular physical exercises, good environmental sanitation and person hygiene practices, campaign for drug abuse, etc would be re-enforced in the polity
2. The nation should use this years celebration to advance universal health coverage (UHC) by expanding the NHIS coverage, while making it mandatory for all citizens using ths social health insurance platform adopting the community based health insurance shceme model. All these have been made realisable through the relevant provisions enshrined in the national health act 2014. NMA is still available to provide further guidance on how this could be achieved.
3. Furthermore, given the severly anaemic status of our national income in the face of competing demands from other sectors; in order to provide the urgent health dividends of democracy, NMA once more reiterates her earlier call for the implementation of the targeted public private partnership, as approved by the National council on health in 2005 which would attract the needed private sector competencies by providing extra funding for more jobs, eliminating inefficiency and trauncy in health facilities
4. In the same vein, the NMA sees hope in the direction of the federal government in earmarking healthcare delivery services as one of the strategies to revamp the ailing national economy. We therefore restate that it is only by incentivising healthcare so much so as to be able to attract investments that this dream could be actualised. Given the experience of india in supporting private sector investments in healthcare delivery, we believe that we can achieve and surpass that to the extent of reversing the now defaming overseas medical treatments, retain and attract the scarce foreign exchange for our economic growth.
5. NMA calls on the government to use this period as one of stock taking and critically appraise certain secotrs of the economy including mass transportation for easier and safer movement of persons, goods and services critical to the re-invigoration of our economy. Our major highways need urgent rehabilitation; the tol of road traffic accidents with needless loss of precious lives and property, unquantifiable
6. Finally, we call on other levels of governance especially the state and local governments to wake up to the realities of unfolding economic crises and engender greater innovativeness in running smarter governments that are openly transparent and accountable, and boosting internally generated revenue needed for deliveriing dividends of democracy including healthcare delivery to our people.
Your Excellency, the NMA as the custodian of the peoples health wishes you good health, divine wisdom and uncommon courage even in the face of mounting resistance to change as you pilot the affairs of the nation. please count on our support at all times
Long Live the Nigerian Medial Association
Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Mike Ogirima President
Dr Yusuf Tanko sununu Secretary General
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