Wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, Aisha, on Wednesday urged private medical institutions in Nigeria to reduce the high cost of their services.
According to a statement by her spokesman, Suleiman Haruna, the President’s wife made the appeal when officials of the Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria visited her at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Mrs. Buhari noted that many Nigerians who do not have access to public health services resort to private hospitals which are very expensive.
This, she said, has implications on not just the patients but the nation’s health indices.
“Private health care is expensive, your association needs to revisit the issue of charges. Practitioners should make treatments affordable so that more people can access your services and health outcomes can improve,” she said.
She also lamented the brain drain in the health sector, saying people travel abroad mostly to be treated by Nigerian practitioners.
She called for better working conditions for them so that they are encouraged to remain in Nigeria.
“I also urge your association to check cases of malpractice by private hospitals, which are becoming more rampant,” she said.
Mrs. Buhari recommended a Public-Private Partnership, whereby private sector firms can invest in the health sector and reduce the burden on government.
“That is why I am convening a stakeholder event soon, to draw their attention to the possibilities and opportunities in the sector,” she said.
The association’s President, Dr. Frank Odofen, commended wife of the President’s commitment to the health of women and children through the Future Assured Programme, which dovetailed into her recent appointment as UNAIDS ambassador, believing that with her passion, health care indices will improve in Nigeria