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Private medical practitioners urge govt to take urgent steps on health system

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The Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN) on Monday urged governments at all level to take effective and urgent steps to address Nigeria’s ailing health system.

The Chairman, Lagos State Chapter of AGPMN, Dr Tunji Akintade, made the call at a news conference to celebrate the 2019 World Family Doctor Day (WFDD), in Lagos.

The theme for the 2019 WFDD is: “Family Doctors; Caring For You, For The Whole of Your Life”.

Akintade said that decisive steps would provide solutions to most of the country’s health problems and help to rebirth health sector in the country.

He said, “The solution is in a health revolution that allows us think and act differently having the life and comfort of Nigerians in mind.

“Family doctors as leaders in the health sector must advocate and stand for this change and rebirth of health sector.’’

He said that the public should seize the opportunity provided by the family doctor day to take critical decisions about the urgent need for change in the nation’s health system.

“Celebration of family doctors day offers us an opportunity to reminisce not only on their long journey into prominence but to showcase their pivotal role in the health sector.”

He said that this year’s theme captured the exceptional significance of the family doctor.

“In the doctor’s community, only the family doctor has the capacity and practice to consummate holistic care to young and old.

“Every family doctor should be reminded that they are  five-star doctors which means they mean everything to their patients and the society,” he said.

Akintade said that the country’s primary healthcare system’s needs for stabilisation still eluded solutions.

“The secondary healthcare system still struggles to meet its expectation while the tertiary health system cannot be said to be anywhere near global best indices.

“Several states of the country are not paying their doctors in the public service and many government health facilities lack basic equipment to work with.

“The private sector is still left to its fate, to grope in the darkness of our economic dusk; our health insurance scheme has failed to grow.

“The solution to all the health problems in the country is to take critical decisions on the urgent need for change in our health system,” he said.

Also speaking, Dr Anthony Omolola, a former National President of the association, called on both the Federal and state governments to pay more attention to the primary healthcare system in the country.

Omolola said that until governments and other stakeholders strengthen the primary healthcare, there might still not be solutions to the health problems.

“Also, more attention to the primary healthcare system will reduce congestion in both the secondary and the tertiary healthcare systems.

“We want governments to support private practitioners because we care for the people for their whole lives.

“Most people have their family doctors who treat them from birth to death, which means we are very important in the health sector,” he said.

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