The Group Managing Director of Regency Alliance Insurance Plc and Founder of a non-governmental organisation, Building Opportunities for Tomorrow (BOT), Barrister Biyi Otegbeye, has spotlighted three urgent areas which should be addressed by stakeholders to improve healthcare delivery in Nigeria.
Speaking as the Chairman of the 15th edition of end-of-year activities and scientific lecture of the Department of Nursing of the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, he asked healthcare professionals to address adequate budgeting and budget implementation for the sector.
According to him, the two other areas that need to be focused upon are the brain drain, motivation, empowerment and training of healthcare workers, as well as creating a peaceful and effective interrelationships between the diverse healthcare professionals in the country.
Otegbeye, who was a former Chairman of the Governing Board of the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital stated that the theme of the anniversary-insecurity in Nigeria, Challenges and implications on Healthcare Delivery” – is not only topical but relevant to the issues affecting the health sector.
According to him “nursing always evokes images of care for the most vulnerable in the society, the elderly, women, children and disabled. It is therefore not surprising that the impact of insecurity on healthcare is most evident in these population groups nationwide, and by extension on nurses – the care givers”.
He regretted that insecurity has hampered effective planning and implementation of health budget, overstretched existing health facilities, hindered movement of personnel, equipment and ambulances, adversely affected the maternal mortally ratio and worsened the brain drain of health experts while the mental health of nurses and other healthcare workers has been challenged.
Otegbeye however gave credit to the federal government for the relative better access of the citizenry to healthcare in the past few years through improved road, power and telecommunications infrastructure, more proactive security agencies and a thorough management of recent global health diseases like Ebola, Polio, Malaria and Covid-19 through widespread establishment of isolation and treatment centres, public information dissemination, and the availability of drugs, vaccines and palliatives.
He also commended the front line health workers like doctors, nurses, laboratory and other health practioners who, according to him “deal with untold hazards, and on whom the backbone of our nation’s medical surveillance and intelligence rests”.
He specially paid tributes to the nurses, saying they have done creditably well.
Congratulating, the organisers for this year’s edition, Otegbeye prayed that the approaching year 2022 will be profitable for the nurses and peaceful for Nigeria.