Few Doctors Received FG’s N100bn COVID-19 Funds – Guild

THE National President of the Guild of Medical Directors, Dr Raymond Kuti, has said that less than 10 per cent private medical practitioners in Nigeria got palliatives from the Federal Government’s N100 billion COVID-19 intervention funds to the health sector.

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This was disclosed in an interview during the ground-breaking ceremony by Cedarcrest Hospitals in Lagos State.

He said, “Less than 10 per cent of private doctors in Nigeria received Federal Government’s N100bn COVID-19 intervention funds, which was more critical in the private hospitals as they see up to 60 to 70 per cent of patients in Nigeria.”

He urged government that private sector medical practitioners should also be involved in finance and implementation of policies in the health sector.”

Kuti, who said this on Saturday, during the ground-breaking ceremony of Cedarcrest Hospitals Limited in Lagos, lamented that implementation of government policies was a big bane in Nigeria. He said, average government spends about seven per cent of its budget on health and not two per cent as done in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, the said two per cent were being pushed into government hospitals. He said with right policies, in less than 10 years, Nigeria would be able address the issue of medical tourism.

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, who was represented by the Chief Medical Director of Federal Medical Centre, Ebute-Metta, Dr Ademola Dada, said the hospital, after being completed, would attract back Nigerian doctors abroad and curtail the menace of brain drain in the country.

He said with Cedarcrest Hospitals, which was funded by the Central Bank of Nigeria, as part of the COVID-19 intervention funds, was trying to ensure the reversal of brain drain and turning it into brain gain.

Kuti said the hospital was able to get a share from the fund as it had demonstrated effective health care in the sector.

On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of Cedarcrest Hospitals Limited, Dr Felix Ogedegbe, said,  “With the advent of the COVID-19 and renewed government interest in healthcare funding, the firm ceased the opportunity of the CBN intervention fund through the Fidelity Bank Plc to construct a new 55 bed hospital in Victoria Island. He noted that the fully government intervention-funded project should be completed by the end of 2023.

He added, “The facility plans to be one of the biggest in the country and the hospital would be adding immensely to healthcare in Lagos, as they are working with partners in Ghana, Togo, Liberia and Senegal to ensure inbound healthcare tourism from West Africa is directed to Lagos and Abuja.”