A former senior lecturer and professor of Law at the Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile-Ife, Mr. Jonathan Fabunmi, has recommended for the Federal Government to ban Nigerians for the next 10 years from going overseas to seek medical help.
He said that was the only way for political leaders in particular who are in charge of the country’s resources to be serious in fixing what he called seriously ill health sector.
He gave the recommendation at the weekend in Lagos during the public lecture organised by the Faculty of Law, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) where he was the chairman of the occasion.
Prof Fabunmi observed that the manner and frequency by which Nigerians, especially those in the corridors of power and wealthy individuals sought medical treatment abroad, especially in Europe, Asia and America even for a slight headache was an indication that they don’t believe in the country’s health system.
He said Nigeria had good and enough human and material resources to provide world class hospitals and very committed and dedicated personnel to take good health care needs of every Nigerian irrespective of status.
He said after all, Chapter 46 of the country’s National Health Act (NHA) of 2014 had imposed a partial ban on medical tourism and therefore his own proposed 10 years’ ban even though may be painful at the period, would be used to put the sector in order for people to start enjoy working health care services locally.
On the business of the day, the guest lecturer who was from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Dr. Obiajulu Nnamuchi said it was unfortunate that Nigeria’s health care system is in mess and fails to meet the need of the populace.
He spoke on “Securing the right to health in Nigeria under the framework of the National Health Act.”
Nnamuchi, who is a senior law lecturer at UNN explained that, though, Nigeria provides for a robust right to health as enshrined in NHA for its citizens, the majority are grossly being denied of access to quality and effective health care services and other needs to aid their total well being.
He however noted that even at that, securing the right to health was not the responsibility of government alone but also include active involvement of the non-state actors starting from individuals to the civil society groups.
Earlier in their separate addresses, the representative of NOUN’s Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Education, Prof Charity Okonkwo and her Faculty of Law’s counterpart, Dr. Alero Akujobi said the lecture was organised to proffer solution, as part of the university’s tripartite mandates to the society, to myriads of health and wellness problems facing the country.
They said Nigeria’s major problems were not always about good policies and programmes but about their poor implementations.
They said the aim of NOUN by organising the forum was to see every Nigerian enjoys the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, which include access to all medical needs, sanitation, adequate food, decent housing, healthy working condition and clean environment