By Tony Obiechina, Abuja
Government at all levels in the country and corporate organisations have been urged to make more investment in the health sector of the national economy as a deliberate way of improving healthcare delivery and curtail medical tourism outside the country.
School Head, College of Nursing, Charles Borromeo Specialist Hospital, Onitsha, Sir Sylvester Ogoegbulem made the call in Onitsha at the second matriculation/capping ceremony of the school.
Ogoegbulem said that it is by making deliberate investment in the health sector that would not only guarantee an improved health of all Nigerians, but also stem the ugly tide of medical tourism currently being undertaken by Nigerians.
He lamented that lack of well equipped medical facilities and absence of conducive working environment have have contributed in no small measures to the exodus of qualified medical practitioners out of the shores of the country.
His words:”The rate at which young qualified medical practitioners are leaving for greener pastures abroad must be checked. It is becoming scary by the day. We may wake up one day and discover that all our health personnels are all gone”
According to him, the only way government can put a stop to this ugly incidence of brain drain especially in the health sector of the national economy is to make deliberate investments that would improve the delivery of qualitative health services to Nigerians.
He noted that unless government makes conscious efforts at equipping it’s medical facilities, the looming Brexit would only compound the precarious situation as many medical practitioners of Nigerian extraction are already moving in their droves to fill in the openings being left by other Europeans moving out of United Kingdom.
Ogoegbulem also urged corporate organisations to intervene in the nation’s health sector by setting aside part of their profits in the provision of health facilities especially in their host communities as part of corporate social responsibility (CRS).
The Head of School, College of Nursing observed that the corporate organisations would be making more impact in the Nigerian society if the invest in the health sector rather than some of the programs and projects they currently sponsor, which according to him “has no direct benefits to to larger segment of the society”.
“The corporate organisations should invest part of their jumbo dividends they often declare to equip the various health facilities in the country. By doing this, the life expectancy of Nigerians will increase and the increasing trend in brain drain which will be worse of after Brexit will be curtailed”, Ogoegbulem further submitted.
He described nursing education as “challenging, exciting and very dynamic” and commended the matriculating students for making it that stage as they were subjected to intensive academic activities in the last six months before qualifying for the capping ceremony.