AdvertisementThe president of the Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals, Dr Obinna Ogbonna, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari not to limit the appointment of the two ministers of health within the rank of the Nigeria Medical Association alone.

In an exclusive interview with our correspondent, Ogbonna, who was re-elected national president of NUAHP at the union’s national delegates’ conference in Keffi, Nassarawa State last week, said it would be fair to all stakeholders in the health sector if the appointment was shared between the NMA and other allied health unions in the sector, noting that it would also establish balance of power among all stakeholders in the sector.

He added that one of the recommendations of a panel set up by the Federal Government in 2014 was that the Minister of Health and Minister of State for Health should not come from the NMA alone.

Ognonna said, “We have made a lot of effort about this issue. In 2014, there was Justice Abdulahi Guzo Committee set up by the Federal Government to look into the issue of disharmony in the health sector. After meeting stakeholders, he agreed with us that the perpetual enthronement of medical practitioners alone as ministers in the health sector would not help matters.

“One of the recommendations of the panel was that there should be a sharing formula. If the Minister of Health is from the NMA, the Minister of State for Health must come from the other allied health professional enclave or vice versa. This is necessary to create balance in the sector. It is therefore unfortunate that up till today, that recommendation has not been respected.”

The NUAHP boss said the union’s effort to reach out to President Buhari was frustrated by some people while letters written to him were not replied.

He added “We wrote several letters to President Muhammadu Buhari but we got a hint that those letters did not get to the President. We know the personality of President Buhari, he is a man of justice. If the letters got to him, he would have done something about our agitation.

“There are people who stopped the letter and will not tell the President the truth. We have not been allowed to see the President. We feel maginalised and oppressed because we are professionals in our own right and critical stakeholders in the health sector.”

Source: Medical World Nigeria

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