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Friday, 4 October 2019


By Paul Ukpabio

The Medical Guild, at his recent Ordinary General Meeting in Lagos, has called on the Lagos State Governor, to urgently, hold a health summit. This was among the major issues deliberated upon at it's meeting.
Other issues included: shortage of health workers, especially medical and dental doctors. A shortage that is considered to have put a lot of strain on doctors and other workers. 

Speaking at the event, the Chairman of the Guild, Dr Babatunde Saheed said that, "it is a known fact that the doctor-patient ratio in Nigeria of 1:6000 far exceeds the WHO recommended ratio of 1:600. Because of the current personnel shortage, which is serious, situations arise where a doctor may see more than one hundred (100) patients in a day.
This avoidable situation is affecting healthcare delivery, patient satisfaction, mortality and morbidity rates, and general health indices. Indeed, things have deteriorated to the level where some doctors are developing serious health challenges.

"It is our view, that if nothing is done about this shortage of doctors, coupled with the level of brain drain with respect to the medical profession in the country, the health service in Lagos State will soon collapse. We also warn that if such a situation arises, government should take responsibility for it. In order to avoid the impending crisis of collapse of the health sector in Lagos State, the following measures should be quickly put in place:

Immediate replacement of exited doctors. This can be done through the office of the Head of Service and fresh recruitment of doctors to take care of the new hospitals and/or Maternal and Childcare Centres (MCC’s).

Other issues of importance which were deliberated upon by the Guild include:

Training and retraining of health workers for better qualitative healthcare delivery to the populace and improvement in the health sector and deliberation on the new Lagos State Health Scheme. We appeal to the government to allow doctors to choose their own health management organizations (HMO’s). We also hope that doctors will be encouraged to take up this additional burden with some incentives."

He said the Guild is asking for a Lagos State Health Summit to be organized by the Governor. 

"We hope that this will bring about a synergy between the Health Service Commission (HSC), the Primary Health Care Board (PHCB), the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), and the Ministry of Health, with regard to the maintenance of qualitative healthcare delivery in the state.

"The Guild wants government to ensure that each Primary Health Centre has at least one medical doctor, in order to reduce pressure on the secondary and tertiary health institutions, and for the achievement of universal health coverage. The Guild also frowns at a situation in which public-private partnerships were instituted in some PHC’s. We believe that the individuals participating should build new health centres or hospitals to compliment the inadequacy of PHC’s in the state, and that government, especially local government should rehabilitate about two (2) PHCs in a year with equipment. 

"We intend to work with the present administration, and to help it to a successful implementation of good health policies in our state," he added.

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