By Chinyere Anyanwu
The Federal Government has been urged to take decisive steps to stem the challenge of medical flight of doctors out of the country as well as tackle the problem of medical tourism.
The provost of the Benjamin Carson School of Medicine, Babcock University, Ilisan-Remo, Ogun State, Prof. Barnabas Mandong, made the appeal during a recent chat with newsmen.
The provost, briefing newsmen on the school’s graduation/induction, which held at the weekend, pointed out the need for government to invest in and repose confidence on the country’s medical sector to enable it provide the best health care service to the country.
Prof. Mandong said, “We appeal to the Federal Government to do something about the flight of our doctors. The medical health services of our nation cannot be treated in isolation. I believe that any country that pays attention to education, agriculture and health will definitely get better because this tripod of development is what is sustaining other developed nations of the world.
“So, we appeal to the Federal Government to look into the issue of remuneration of health workers in general, because a healthy nation is a productive nation. A healthy nation will produce educated people, a healthy nation will produce agriculturists who will produce the food requirements of this country, because a country that cannot feed its people, its health indices will get worse.”
Mandong, in addition, stated that to reverse medical tourism in the country, the government has to invest in the health of its citizens as well as make use of health facilities available here to boost the confidence of the people in the sector.
According to him, “the first thing the Federal Government can do to reverse health tourism is to invest in the health of its people. Medical tourism can be reduced but it has to start from the top. If the president will go to any of our hospitals and do his basic medical check up, it will create confidence in the citizens on the medical sector. Apart from boosting the confidence of the people on the sector, it will ginger more Nigerians to invest more in the health sector. So we appeal to our government to please pay attention to the health sector.”
Speaking on this year’s graduation/induction ceremony, which is the 6th edition, the provost explained that the school, which has graduated 258 doctors since inception, inducted 54 doctors in this batch.
He noted that the Benjamin Carson Medical School prides itself in, “producing medical doctors and health physicians who, in addition to having practical skill for handling common health problems, medical emergencies, a strong inclination to broad community health, preventive medicine, as well as ability to lead a health team and manage, at least, small health centers in this country and be suitable for postgraduate training anywhere in the world.”