Healthcare providers in Nigeria have sent an urgent message to the Federal Government. They urged the Federal Government to address the high cost of essential medicine in Nigeria.
They bemoaned the effect of the consistent rise in the cost of medicine. The healthcare providers sparked fear of the negative impact this rise would have on the lives of Nigerians.
The members of the Healthcare Providers Association of Nigeria HCPAN emphasized the need to address this situation immediately.
Jimmy Arigbabuwo, the President of HCPAN told newsmen that the cost of medicine poses danger to the health sector.
Ariagbuwo disclosed that the high cost of drugs has weighed heavily on patients.
He said, “The attention of the healthcare providers nationwide has been drawn to a dramatic and unimaginable cost of various types and brands of intravenous fluids of all types now selling.
“They are being procured at costs that even beat crazy the current trends of convulsing costs of drugs and medicines of all types in the health sector in Nigeria.
“Agreed that water is the only raw material that our drugs and medicines manufacturers do not import. This trend of only converting semi-finished products into final products is no longer new to us even long before now.
“Agreed the naira has lost the best part of her beauty to the dollars and other harder currencies. The abysmally high cost of I/v fluids and other drugs and medicines. We can call essential is already causing a bigger blow more than severe economic embarrassment in the health sector (especially in the private, and perhaps the public sector as well).”
He said that it can be excused occasionally if the fluids are not used in all surgical procedures. However, that is not the case.
Arigbabuwo continued that “It is by the far a life-saving singular tool. In most cases of road traffic accidents and traumas where blood loss is significant.
“The near spine breaking chaos in the supply chain is no longer acceptable especially when we consider that over 70 per cent of the healthcare expenses are still out of pocket ( 76.6 per cent).”
The physician asked for a bailout and a National Emergency Response in the health sector from what he described as a very heavy and unbearable burden on the patients.
“A situation where a pint ( 500 MLS) of Dextrose/Saline or Normal Saline drips is sold for between N750 and N780. Or a carton of 20 of such bottles is now sold for N15,000:00 as against what had been sold for between N4,500 and N5,500 a few months back or N3,000 about the year 2020 calls for an unusual alarm.
“Affected critical stakeholders are anxiously waiting for this national issue to be addressed with the necessary and urgent attention it deserves.
“We are suspecting a cartel of the extraordinary dimensions in this case scenario,” he said.
The HCPAN president called on the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire to intervene.
He urged Dr Ehanire to treat this as a matter of urgency.
Dr Arigbabuwo also suggested collaboration between the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria and the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria to help ordinary Nigerians. Dr Arigbabuwo is also the National Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association Committee on Public-Private Partnership.
Source: PUNCH HealthWise