By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has opposed the move by the federal government to concession the 21 federal teaching hospitals in the country.
It said such a measure will most likely lead to exorbitant cost of medical treatment beyond the capacity of majority of Nigerians.
The NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, who stated the position of labour on Thursday at the opening of the 2019 Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Nurses Week/Scientific workshop in Abuja, said government should instead invite the private sector to establish new hospitals and not take over existing public hospitals.
He said that the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) recently recommended the concessioning of the 21 teaching hospitals in the country, adding that previous attempts to privatise the National Trauma Centre in Gwagwalada, Abuja was thwarted by the Health Workers Union.
The Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) also kicked against the alleged move to privatise public health institutions, vowing to resist the move.
The National President of MHWUN, Biobelemoye Josiah, who spoke at the Nurses Week, said that if healthcare services are going to remain affordable for the poor, government must retain its stake in public-owned hospitals and not privatise them.
Josiah described as fraudulent, any attempt by some persons to railroad the federal government into accepting to concession the teaching hospitals under the guise that it would be better for health sector.