In line with World Family Doctors' Day 2018, the Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN) has called on governments at all levels to partner the private sector to achieve universal health coverage for all in the country.
The association made this call on World Family Doctors' Day held in Lagos recently, with the theme, 'Family doctors' leading the way to better health'.
This association said that the call for partnership was necessary since a deliberate investment and growth of the private sector through policy shifts and system restructuring could reverse the trend of medical tourism, which has crippled her economy and ridiculed her in the world community.
The Chairman of the Association Lagos, Dr. Tunji Akintade, said: "When the government is doing a budget they should consider the private sector, it is very critical, no private sector is given any rebate in terms of procurement of equipment."
According to him, Nigeria must budget more for health. "At least, 17 per cent of the annual budget is expected in health but we get less than five per cent. The amount of funds we expend on generating power for our facility is killing. More than 60 per cent of profit is gone."
In his goodwill message, the AGPMPN President, Dr. Iyke Odo, told newsmen that World Organisation of Family Doctors (WONCA) as an organisation, oversees the activities of family doctors across the globe.
He added: "WONCA has worked tremendously hard to continuously maintain human capacity development and life saving programme at international, regional and rural levels."
Odo, who was represented by the chairman, decried the country's challenge to meet and sustain the milestone standards WONCA is advocating across the world. "I use the atmosphere provided by this year's anniversary to commend our governments at all levels for the much they have done in articulating a health system for Nigeria.
He expressed that a lot needed to be done still. "Our healthcare institutions are still very weak, liable and unsustained. And we are not proud of the performance of our health sector."
He recommended: "We must deliberately invest in and grow our private sector in health by policy shifts and system restructuring that is investment-friendly, and that reverses the medical tourism destination which has not only helped to cripple our economy but has brought us to the seat of ridicule in the world community."
According to him, this is the only insurance for Nigerians to have affordable and accessible quality healthcare. Hence, their team of doctors went to Adegbite Market at Surulere where several men and women were screened for high blood pressure.