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Allow Private Sector Takeover of Nigeria’s Health Sector, Ogun NMA tells Tinubu

The Ogun State Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association, Dr. Kunle Ashimi has advised the new president, Bola Tinubu to allow private sector takeover of the country’s health sector.

He explained that privatisation will solve the numerous problems bedevilling the sector.

The Orthopaedic Surgeon also urged Tinubu to make basic health insurance a right for every Nigerian.

Tinubu was sworn in as President of Nigeria yesterday in Abuja, at the Eagle Square in Abuja.

The Oath of Office was administered by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Kayode Ariwoola.

He succeeded the former President, Muhammadu Buhari who on Thursday, in Abuja, handed over the transition documents to him.

Speaking with PUNCH Healthwise shortly after the swearing-in ceremony, the NMA chairman said Tinubu should hand over the ownership of health institutions and its management to private investors.

He noted that there should be no budgetary allocation for the sector except the basic health insurance scheme.

Read Also: MDCAN Urges Tinubu To Introduce Health Sector Reforms

Dr. Ashimi pointed out that full privatisation of the sector will also put an end to the inability to access basic healthcare by many Nigerians.

He said, “My personal opinion is that Tinubu should privatise the public health sector. The health sector should be fully private-owned.

“The President should also give basic health insurance to all Nigerians. Instead of budgeting huge funds for health, he can say this is the number of Nigerians to benefit and maybe through their NIN, can get a basic health insurance plan. Even if it is a minimum of N10,000 per annum for a person, it will be for everyone instead of a huge budget set aside for health.

“Let the private sector man all the health institutions so that every Nigerian can have basic health insurance, such that if anyone wants something higher than what the government is providing, they can top up their cards. Privatising the healthcare sector will solve a lot of problems.”

Dr. Ashimi said all Nigerians, including those in the rural areas, should be able to register for the National Identification Number so as to make the privatisation initiative work.

According to him, “If all Nigerians can register and have their NIN card, which is what would be attached to the basic health insurance, they can go to any health centre to get treatment. This is better than the government putting money in the hands of a few to manage the health sector. That is how corruption in the sector started.

“When the private sector manages hospitals and they know that there is insurance coverage and that money will be well managed, they will get people to do the work. Those hospitals will be appropriately managed.”