The founder and chancellor, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, ABUAD, Aare Afe Babalola has advised the relevant authorities to increase the salaries and allowance of doctors in the country to end the ‘japa’ syndrome.
The renowned legal luminary stated this in Ado-Ekiti over the weekend, in his remarks at the 64th National Council of Health Meeting.
According to Babalola, both the federal and state governments should increase the budgetary allocations to the hospitals to improve quality healthcare delivery and procurement of quality equipments and consumables.
While calling on the federal government to ensure that national honours are bestowed on deserving Nigerians who have made significant contributions to the society, he called for stiffer penalties to errant health care officials.
His words: “It is a notorious fact that Nigerian doctors have been leaving the country in droves because of dearth of quality medical equipment and facilities in our hospitals.
“Both the Federal and State Governments should increase their allocations to their respective hospitals. These will enable them procure quality equipment, consumables and hired competent Consultants and Allied Medical Workers.
“The Federal Government should increase TETFund by 1% which should be used by medical institutions to buy quality equipment and hire competent staff. These additional allocation would equally enable research and collaboration between Hospitals and Universities with reputable hospitals.
“I therefore suggest that the laws establishing private hospitals should be amended to ensure that the procure quality medical equipment. Doctors should also be advised to come together to form partnerships similar to cooperative societies to enable them establish quality private medical outfits.
“I therefore advise this body to recommend salaries and allowance comparable to what is paid in other countries for our doctors.
“Here in ABUAD, when the “ja pa” syndrome became so prevalent in Nigeria, we had to top the salaries and emolument of our staff by 35%, over and above what obtains in public universities. You know what? Everybody is happy, committed to what he is doing.
“To ensure discipline, there should be an amendment to the rules guiding the medical profession in such a way that there would be stiffer penalties for errant members of the profession.
“I have said in different fora in the past that National Honours should not be an exclusive preserve of politicians, Governors, Ministers alone but for those who have made significant contributions to the country in health, education, agriculture and all other areas of human endeavor.