Dear Colleagues, Nigerian Doctors and fellow Citizens,

I warmly salute us aĺl on our continuous commitment to the fulfilment of our own part of the Physicians’ Pledge/Oath regardless of the attitude of our employers or some of the immediate beneficiaries.

I am also delighted to congratulate us on the unique occasion of today’s event, as it is ongoing at the federal level and in most states of the federation.

My delight stems from hope for a better Nigeria as promised by all the gladiators that are taking ‘Oath of Office’ today. I pray that God Almighty shall help them to take the best decisions in piloting the affairs of the country and their specific states. May their emergence or re-emergence as our leaders herald a new dawn to witness a true New dispensation. May He also endow them with lofty and reliable lieutenants and advisers from our midst. No doubt, a key message that characterized the electoral campaigns was a better healthcare for the citizens. 

Dear colleagues, at this juncture, we have a role to play in actualising the dream for a better Nigeria. It is the role of reminding all stakeholders including the press and the citizens that the provision of Good health care by the Governors is not another optional charity nor is it supposed to be an electoral dividend but a fundamental living need that must be championed by them to all communities under their domain.

Let the Governors know that the health of a NATION cannot be said to be adequate when the care givers are being starved of their salaries and benefits and when all the sick assemble only in a centre of excellence when we can appropriately ensure that more centres are available at different levels to address different categories of the health care needs.

The Governors can therefore change the fortune of health care in Nigeria through an effective management of the Secondary health care level. What they need to do is so simple. 

Let them start by motivating all the health work force in their employment, paying them appropriately as and when due, invest in their training and re-training as appropriate, recruit additional health work force to fill identified gaps in their state’s human resource pool, remunerate them well like their colleagues elsewhere, provide necessary and required infrastructure, provide modern equipments, provide medical consumables and put an effective management in place to drive it. 

In the same vein, the Local Government Chairmen should be appropriately empowered through necessary support from the State Governors and the Federal government to put the Primary health centres on track having initiated a working model at the Secondary level.

If these steps are taken, the structure of the National health system will begin to function effectively while ensuring that all levels of cares (the Primary, Secondary and Tertiary) are duly manned and emphasized for appropriate developmental strategies.

This implies that our primary health care centres, our general hospitals, the cottage hospitals, the comprehensive health centres, federal medical centres and the teaching hospitals can work again and citizens can access well coordinated and linked services from the lower level, through to the highest level based on their respective needs. 

In the long run, the citizens shall be assured of succour when they have health challenges. The nation as a whole shall thrive, the GDP will increase through inputs from the highly productive and healthy citizens that abounds the streets and towns and the nation’s glory will be lifted just by an appropriate strides in the health sector.

Doctors and other health workers working as a team shall remain the tool in achieving this goal. So, as I congratulate Mr. President and Commander-in-Chief and our respective State Governors, I also congratulate us all as we swing into action.

These actions shall entail strategic engagements at different levels emphasizing the obvious, advocating compliance with extant health laws, provisions and agreements, ensuring adequate appropriation of resources and monitoring its utilisation. We should not shy to seek modifications of faulty provisions to align with international best practice while extending our hands in felicitation and support to our respective governments in our collective journey to the promised land.

May God Bless us all together as we seek a blissful nation.

Dr. Abubakar O. Ayinla 
National Association of Government General Medical and Dental Practitioners (NAGGMDP)
29th May, 2019.

Signed & disseminated by

Dr. Nura Abubakar,

General Secretary,

NAGGMDP @ National Secretariat,