Planned privatisation of public health institutions vendetta-driven, says AMLSN
MEDICAL laboratory scientists under the aegis of the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN) have described the introduction of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) policy in public health institutions in Nigeria as vendetta-driven aimed at enriching shylock business men in the medical profession, even as the association called on state governments to create medical laboratory services directorates in their respective ministries of health.
The laboratory scientists who made the assertion in a statement to summarise the outcome of AMLSN National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Sokoto, Sokoto State, added that the PPP in government-owned hospitals is targeted at “ increasing the out-of-pocket expenditures of the common man in Nigeria and consequently making health services unaffordable to the majority of the populace.”
The statement, which was signed by the President of AMLSN, Mr. Toyosi Raheem, read in part: “NEC observed as worrisome, the manner and scope of introducing Public-Private Partnership Policy (PPP) in public health institutions in Nigeria. Its introduction is vendetta- driven. Despite the fact that World Health Organization emphasises Universal Health Coverage which must be accessible, available and affordable, the manner of introducing PPP in some general and teaching hospitals in Nigeria is targeted at increasing the out-of-pocket expenditures of the common man in Nigeria and consequently making health services unaffordable to the majority of the populace.
It also enriches certain categories of health professionals who now take more interests and delight in referring their patients to PPP labs at the expense and detriment of the patients. PPP in the public health sector in Nigeria is clearly a policy somersault designed to confer monopoly on shylock business outfits especially in teaching hospitals in Nigeria.
Teaching hospitals are supposed to be centres of excellence for quality and affordable services, training and research. Any attempt to relegate these statutory functions will meet stiff resistance from the exploited masses.
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