Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has declared that “poor funding, ageing infrastructures and recurrent strike actions of the health workers” are the major factors responsible for the poor state of the nation’s health sector.
The formers President, who presided over the activities marking the grand finale of the 60th anniversary of University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan on Monday, noted with concern, cancer related deaths and deaths emanating from non communicable diseases.
He charged the UCH management to “come up with a robust plan that will see the institution transcend mediocrity and attain a more enviable position in the world rankings”.
Speaking through Dr. Femi Majekodunmi, the former President declared: “At 60, the University College Hospital, Ibadan has truly led the other health care institutions in top class health care deliver, real cutting edge research and I know that it is the preferred choice for training by every professional group in the health sector”.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, in his remark, renewed the hope of Nigerians in the national healthcare sector.
Osinbajo noted that the Federal Government is embarking on comprehensive re-tooling of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), adding that eight teaching hospitals in the country including the UCH are being rejuvenated under the 2018 fiscal budget.
While tasking the tertiary healthcare institutions in Nigeria to rise up to the challenges of technology, the Vice President enjoined the entire citizenry to join force with the authorities under its Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiatives.
He added that alone cannot solely fund effective healthcare in a situation where about N1.3trillion (30 per cent of the Budget) is going to the infrastructure.
Emeritus Professor Theophilus Ogunlesi, while delivering the anniversary lecture, opined that the health challenges that compelled President Muhammadu Buhari to seek medical treatment in the United Kingdom hospital was not beyond the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan which, he said, possessed all the required human resources but only suffers underfunding.
Ogunlesi however called on the government to, as a matter of policy, stop underfunding the institutions.
He urged government to provide effective comprehensive community healthcare system all over the country, and also make special provision for the poor, the aged, disabled and children.
Highlight of the ceremony was the commissioning of the multi-million naira Sir Kessington Adebutu Geriatric Rehabilitation Centre built and donated to the UCH by the renowned philanthropist as well as the turning of the sod of the UCH Cancer Centre being initiated by some unnamed philanthropists.