Address cost of medical services, drugs, NMA tells FG

The Nigeria Medical Association, Lagos State chapter has expressed concern over the increasing prices of drugs and medical services.

The Chairman of the state branch of the NMA, Dr Benjamin Olowojebutu, urged the Federal Government to address the inability of most Nigerians to afford quality medical attention due to the high cost of drugs and medical services.

He stated that government should address economic issues in the health sector which might have adverse effects on the financial stability of health institutions.

This followed a recent report about the exit of pharmaceutical companies and the subsequent increase in the prices of drugs across the country.

Olowojebutu, in a statement obtained by Saturday PUNCH, stated that the situation called for innovation, collaboration, and a proactive approach to addressing the economic challenges facing the health sector and patients.

Calling for an increased investment in the health sector, the NMA chairman noted that the prices of drugs had astronomically risen and could no longer be afforded by citizens.

The statement read in part, “The unaffordability of medical services must be addressed. In an era of expensive healthcare and budget constraints, we must explore sustainable models that ensure both the financial stability of healthcare institutions and the affordability of services for patients.

“This calls for innovation, collaboration, and a proactive approach to address the economic challenges facing medical practitioners today. Increased investment in the health sector is an investment in the resilience and productivity of our nations.

“It is an acknowledgment that our people’s health is intertwined with the prosperity of our nation. We must work collaboratively with policymakers and advocate aligning healthcare investments with broader economic development goals.

“A closer look at Nigeria’s current turn of events reveals a disturbing trend in the exit of manufacturing companies, especially pharmacological industries. The immediate biting effects of this exodus are felt by all and sundry.

“The prices of drugs have astronomically risen to high heavens. The aged dynamics of drugs of choice and choice of drugs have been altered by a decline in buying power.”

The state NMA chairman expressed the need for increased advocacy in the area of budgetary allocations to health, and ensuring that resources were not only allocated but efficiently utilised.

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