by Lekan Olanrewaju
The Federal Government of Nigeria has directed doctors in federal tertiary hospitals to stop referring patients abroad. The Minister of Health, professor Onyebuchi Chukwu on Thursday gave the directive while speaking at the 67th Meeting of the Association of Chief Executives of Federal Tertiary Hospitals in Nigeria, ACEFTH, and warned that doctors would be sanctioned if they sent patients abroad for ailments which can be handled in Nigeria.
“Sometimes we are wasteful with our prescriptions,” he said.
“So many people travel abroad because of their ignorance, they are not aware of such services in Nigeria. Management of the government hospitals should uphold medical standards and discipline in their hospitals.”
“No country in the world has it all,” he continued. “But every country is making efforts to be self-sufficient as much as possible. Nigeria hopes to be self-sufficient in the health sector and we are going to achieve it.”
He also urged medical professionals to continue to work hard, as citizens of the country, and the president expect such from them. “From whom much is given, much is expected,” he said. “Nigerians expect best services from you and Mr. President also expect no less from you. Medical practice demands much more standards than other sectors. We have to do all to meet the standards. I want to urge the CMDs and CEOs to ensure that their managements are up to the task. We must go by all the laws on ground.”