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Medical Expert Decries Poor Budgetary Allocation to Health Sector

medicsA professor of medicine, Stanley Anyanwu, has decried the nation’s poor yearly budgetary allocation to the health sector, saying it remains a serious challenge to the medicine practice in Nigeria.

Profesor Anyanwu, who is currently the chairman, Faculty of Surgery, National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria stated this at the closing session of the 2013Train the Trainers’ Workshop organized for Nigerian surgeons by the college yesterday in Enugu.

The workshop, attended by the creme of medical experts across the nation, had as its  theme: “Training the Surgeon for Life Long Process”, and is the 3rd edition.

The medical guru, noted that while Nigeria has enough manpower to attend to all kinds of health needs, the budgetary allocation had remained scanty.

Anyanwu, who is the chairman, Faculty of Surgery, National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria stated this at the closing session of the 2013Train the Trainers’ Workshop organized for Nigerian surgeons by the college at the Toscana Hotels, Enugu.

The workshop, which has the theme: “Training the Surgeon for Life Long Process”, is the 3rd edition.

The chairman maintained that while Nigeria has enough manpower to attend to all kinds of health needs, the budgetary allocation had remained wearisome.

Said the professor: “the World Bank and the World Health Organisation WHO recommended 15 percent of the budget for health but here in Nigeria even right from the time of the military it has remained something not above 2 percent.

“We have enough personnel in Nigeria, the proportion going overseas and the proportion we treat here, you can’t equate; if you go to Orthopedic hospital here in Enugu, you see some with different disabilities, and they are being treated, so we have the human capacity to treat very many ailments.

“In many parts of the world, when you get sick, you are treated free if you don’t have money. When I was a medical student, about 30 years ago, some patients suffering from cancer, diabetes, sickle cell, and other chronic diseases were treated free in hospitals, but now there is no budget at all for such people”.

“Many facilities are lacking in Nigeria but that does not mean we are not doing enough here “, he added, noting that “we are treating more than 95 percent in this country; you only hear of those few rich persons, after all, how many can afford to fly abroad?

“Let me give you an example, the Governor of Kogi State was involved in an accident, he went to a hospital in Nigeria where he was treated and he is walking; the Governor of Taraba State had plane accident and traveled abroad, you can see they are quarreling whether he has recovered or not; so going abroad is not a panacea that you must be successfully treated”.

Explaining why the workshop was put together, the chairman said it was aimed at providing an avenue for the surgeons to acquaint themselves with modern trend in the profession.

“Disease pattern change all the time; treating method also changes, so we want to update surgeons because they have the responsibility of treating resident doctors. Surgeons also train other health care workers.

“Part of the workshop was also to inculcate on the surgeons how to examine resident doctors with the modern examination method approved all over the world”, he stated.

No fewer than one hundred and fifty surgeons drawn from various parts of the country are attending the 3-day colorful medical event.

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