Kuni Tyessi, Abuja
Former senate President David Mark has criticized the federal government for it’s negligence towards the health sector and for not paying attention to the industry as it does other sectors”, especially the economy.
Speaking at an investiture of patrons of the Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria, Sen. Mark said though concern and investment in economic growth were important, economy essentially was all about health and being healthy.
“If from a lot of the emphasis devoted to the economy alone, just a little is devoted to health, you will find the economy will do better,” said Mark.
The investiture doubled as an award of “fellowship” to doctors who have been in private practice for 10 years and “distinguished” to others who have surpassed 25 years in private practice.
Mark said private practice was needed in remote rural areas where established public sector health was beyond reach, noting doctors must put the health of the public first.
“It is one industry where there should never be politics. You must never play politics in the health sector,” said Mark.
AGMPN president Dr Frank Odafen said private medical practice, though handling much of the health burden among Nigerians, faced serious challenges that stifle its growth.
“What we have is not lack of capacity or skills. We have people trained all over the world, and they are specialist. We are heavyweight champions but our hands are tied because of lack of facilities to practise,” said Odafen.