Subsidy Removal: Medical experts task FG on palliatives

Fuel Drop

Subsidy Removal: Medical experts task FG on palliatives

AREWA AGENDA – The association of Nigerian private medical practitioners (ANPMP) has urged the federal government to introduce initiatives that will ameliorate the impact of subsidy removal on the health of Nigerians.

The national president of the association, Kayode Adesola, said this in an interview on Thursday in Lagos.

Mr Adesola acknowledged that the economic reforms which necessitated the removal of fuel subsidy were necessary to revive the economy.

He, however, noted that reforms should be done with human feelings to ameliorate the impact on the health and well-being of Nigerians.

Mr Adesola said that a large percentage of patients presenting at hospitals in the last few weeks have high blood pressure.

Hypertension or high blood pressure is a condition in which the force of the blood against the artery walls is too high. Hypertension is blood pressure above 140/90 and is considered severe if the pressure is above 180/120.

Mr Adesola said the economic situation of the country, which had led to high cost of living and declined purchasing power of many citizens, was contributing to increased morbidity among patients seen at hospitals.

“People are more sick than ever, a large percentage of patients presenting at the hospitals are coming with hypertension.

“These are patients that had no previous history of hypertension or diabetes mellitus.

“Also, many of the patients coming to the hospital now are more impoverished than ever.

“Upon presentation, it is obvious they are sick, but many can’t afford to pay for the medical services required, they will tell us, “let me go back and save toward it,” or “let me go home and die.”

“As medical practitioners, we can’t allow such because it’s heartbreaking.

“However, how many patients would we continue to treat free of charge with the cost of consumables and medicines increasing every time,” he said.

“I just spoke with someone whose daughter has been on admission undergoing dialysis since last year.

“A first-class student, 300 level; the father’s getting tired now, he has sold two cars, lands, houses, spending about N300,000 per week on treatment.

“It’s quite a tough time for them and many other Nigerians battling health challenges,” he said.

Mr Adesola noted that the economic situation of the country was impacting negatively on the operations of private medical practitioners across the country.

“Electricity companies keep threatening to increase tariffs in spite of the recent increments and unstable power supply.

“If we turn to using generators, the cost of fuel keeps increasing and getting unaffordable.

“To worsen the situation, kidnappers have now turned doctors to soft targets for ransom.

“Our staff keeps complaining that the salary being paid is not enough to transport them to work, some have to walk some distance by the time they get to work, they are tired and sleepy.

“Agreed that fuel subsidy has to go, but it should not be at the detriment of the people or country you are trying to save,” he said.

He appealed to President Bola Tinubu to give directives to ministries, departments and agencies to desist from increasing or introducing tariffs.

“This is not the best time for that. They should give Nigerians some breathing space. Imagine an inconsiderate agency introducing fees for proof of ownership for vehicles,” he said.

Mr Adesola also appealed to the legislatures to desist from appropriating huge funds to themselves, rather focus on championing policies that would serve the interest of Nigerians.

He emphasised that the health sector should be a priority and budget allocation to the sector increased to align with the 15 per cent Abuja Declaration to improve the sector.