Recession NMA pledges affordable, accessible healthcare

The doctors assured the public that they are bound by their Hippocratic oaths to provide accessible life saving services.

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A healthcare worker takes a blood sample from an Ebola survivor as part of a study on the disease, in Monrovia, Liberia, June 17, 2015. REUTERS/James Giahyue/Files play A healthcare worker takes a blood sample from an Ebola survivor as part of a study on the disease, in Monrovia, Liberia, June 17, 2015. REUTERS/James Giahyue/Files
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The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) in Bayelsa on Wednesday pledged to provide accessible and affordable healthcare to the people to cushion the current economic challenges.

The doctors assured the public that they were bound by their Hippocratic oaths to provide accessible and affordable life saving services to the society at large.

The state NMA’s Chairman, Dr Keme Pondei, made the pledge at the 2016 Physicians’ week held in Yenagoa.

Pondei said the week was a period when medical practitioners gather to reassess the state of healthcare.

He said that the doctors evaluate the effect on the population and proffer appropriate solutions to improve healthcare delivery.

“We also during this week, provide free healthcare to rural dwellers in the form of medical outreach.

“Despite the prevailing economic situation in the country, we carried out a medical outreach at Agbobiri and Okordia communities, Yenagoa Local Government Area.

“The healthcare indices for the country are really not what they should be,” Pondei said.

He said that the NMA was non-partisan and devoted to the welfare of every Nigerian.

“We are partners in progress with government and welcome the hand of friendship the current Government of Bayelsa has offered us.

“We appreciate the employment of 20 doctors at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital Okolobiri, facilitation of accreditation for the Obstetrics and gynaecology department.

“The approval of the corrected CONMESS, approval of land for NMA Secretariat Complex, among others.

“We pray that as partners in progress Government and the NMA will partner to review the healthcare delivery system in the state.

“There is a need to urgently pass the State Primary Health Care Development Agency (SPHCDA) bill that is believed to be before the Bayelsa State House of Assembly,” he said.

Pondei urged the Bayelsa Government to revive the Bayelsa Health Insurance Scheme while steps should be taken to join the National Health Insurance Scheme to achieve universal health insurance cover in the state.

He said the health system functions more effectively with a Commissioner of Health to facilitate the coordination of the ministry and urged the government to urgently appoint a commissioner for health.

The Bayelsa Head of Service, Dr Peter Singabele, said celebration of the Physicians’ Week was very important for efficient healthcare services.

He stressed the need for doctors to embrace peace and shun rivalry among themselves, saying they are one of the key professions that deal with human life.

“Health is wealth and a healthy population is a wealthy one.

“The current economic situation has increased the morbidity and mortality of the population, made worse by partial and irregular salaries of workers,’’ he said.