Abiodun Akinwuntan, Nigerian physiotherapist who works outside the nation has stated reasons why Nigeria Health Care System may remain stagnant and has also lamented that the country may never get to enjoy their highly trained and efficient medical professionals if health institutions in Nigeria are not revived. He made his concerns clear during the ICMRP held on Thursday 19 in Abuja. He said many of these professionals who are supposed to help improve health care in Nigeria are leaving the country to enjoy something better in other countries.
He blamed this on the unavoidability of jobs, low payments, inadequate opportunities to get new and special training.
Abiodun Akinwuntan who got his 1st degree in his country, Nigeria, specializes in Physical Therapy, neurology and ophthalmology. Currently, he is the Dean at the Health Professionals School at KU, a Kansas State University.
He’s of the opinion that Nigeria has to be willing and ready to make investment in training health rehabilitation personnels if the country wants to ever be able to compete effectively with other nations when it comes to delivery of healthcare. In his speech, he said all professions in medical field have different specializations and has to be treated equally important.
He said the medical sector would be on standstill if there is no improvement in patients medical rehabilitation. He says the reason many Nigerians seek treatment outside is the special treatment they get after the main treatment.
He stated that brain drain affects the resident rehabilitation therapists and attention isn’t been given to it. The medical professionals are doing well in providing prevention and cure but nothing is done to rehabilitate patients after the treatment. He further said attention has to be paid to training professionals extensively.
On medical rehabilitation, he stated that it is very important because it helps patients that have been through surgery or have lost one or more abilities learn how to cope. He made an instance of a patient who had just lost his limbs due to diabetes or one who lost speech or foot due to stroke, such people would need to be rehabilitate to learn how to cope with the new situation.
He said that the country all have to do more on organizing more training programs for health rehabilitation officials, that the nation have only focused on a part of the medical profession. He said our rehabilitation method is incomplete because we have not putting our minds on the new rehabilitation methods and techniques which are being used in more advanced countries.
Mr Abiodun Akinwuntan further explained that many other areas of medical specializations are not yet taught and are not available for patients in Nigeria. He called on the government and urged them to rearrange and reorganize trainings for the medical sector in the country to meet up with global standard.
The Nigeria Health ministry permanent secretary, Mr Abdulaziz Abdullahi said in his address at the event that the health ministry of health is concerned with the growing number of medical and health professionals abandoning the nation for other countries. He said they are also in partnership with investors in the private sector.
A department has been formed in the ministry too deal with partnership from both private and public sector and also partnership with people in diaspora. He mentioned that government and the Nigerian medical experts working abroad will collaborate to form the diaspora initiative.
Mr Abdullahi said a MOU has been signed to allow the medical practitioners in diaspora to return home and work in any health facility they choose for a month. This means they would take a leave for one month from where they work outside to serve in Nigerian health facilities and share their knowledge and experiences with medical practitioners in the nation.
He also said that funding for the process has been included in the year’s budget by the Nigerian government and they are ready now to start the process. He mentioned also that plans are being made for those have one disability or the other to make them live better.
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