BACKGROUND TO DELIBERATIONS
The Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development (PRIMORG) with support from the MacArthur Foundation held a town hall meeting against corruption on December 3, 2020. The theme of the town hall meeting was; HOW INTEGRITY AND HONESTY IN HEALTH INSTITUTIONS CAN BOOST NIGERIA’S HEALTHCARE DELIVERY.
The meeting was also used to celebrate a 2020 Integrity Icon, Mrs Oyeronke Suebat Izobo. Currently, she is the Deputy Provost at College of Health Technology Yaba, Lagos State. Renowned for resisting bribes from students and falsification of medical reports in the last 23 years.
Participants and speakers at the meeting discussed the dangers of corruption in Nigeria’s health care system and ways to engender integrity in Nigeria’s healthcare delivery.
The participants include: Dr Philip Ekpe – General Secretary, Nigeria Medical Association; Dr George Ajayi – a Chief Medical Officer, Asokoro District Hospital; Suleiman Isah – Programmes Officer, Centre for Disease and Aids Control; Idris Saliu – Retired from College of Medicine, University of Ibadan and Prince Chimaraoke Chukwuka — Representative of Accountability Lab Nigeria.
In the course of deliberation, participants at the town hall meeting noted the following:
– Integrity is fundamental to healthcare delivery in Nigeria.
– A healthy nation can only be achieved by putting regulations in place.
– Health institutions are the most sensitive in Nigeria, hence requires maximum attention from the government.
– Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has developed programmes to check quackery and falsification of medical documents in Nigeria.
– Patients bear the brunt of corruption, wrong diagnosis and poor healthcare delivery in Nigeria.
– NMA’s major work has been to ensure Nigerians get quality health by stamping out quackery
– Most people that falsify medical reports are not professionals in the medical field.
– Poor healthcare policy breeds corruption in the sector.
– Lack of adequate monitoring of health practitioners encouraging quacks to own or run health-based firms, especially in rural areas.
– Lack of citizens’ awareness behind proliferation of quacks health care provision.
– The society encourages kickback for referrals.
– The media has a big responsibility of ensuring Nigerians address the challenges of healthcare delivery in Nigeria.
– Fear of losing position or relevance hindering public servants from buying into integrity in the public health sector.
– Nigerian doctors are good but lack adequate support from the government.
– NMA advocates for an increased budget to the health sector.
– Remuneration of medical staff should be enhanced.
– There should be a national policy of medical insurance for medical workers
– Good Medical Education: Medical schools should be fortified and well equipped.
– Apart from academics, integrity should be prominently taught in medical schools, as well as good attitude and respect.
– Citizens should be proactive enough to know their rights and defend it especially when it concerns healthcare delivery.
– Top government officials should be banned from medical tourism through legislation.
– Health sector should get improved remuneration and budgetary allocation.
– More doctors and health workers are threatened by insecurity in the country, considering leaving the country