Health workers in Delta State have pushed for compulsory tax for multinational companies operating in Nigeria to boost revenue for the successful implementation of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for vulnerable groups.
They advocated this at the 2021 Continuing Professional Development (CPD)/workshop of the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN), Delta State Branch, which held in Asaba.
Attending the workshop, the Head of Service, Mr. Reginald Bayoko, who was represented by Mr. Michael Okocha, and the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mordi Ononye, who was represented by Dr Johnson Etaghene, assured them of the State Government’s effort at providing qualitative and accessible healthcare to Deltans.
In his address, Chairman of the occasion, Dr. Adeyemi Oladokun, recollected that the World Health Assembly adopted the Universal Health Coverage in 2005 but lamented that not much had been achieved in Nigeria in the last 16 years.
‘’It is very discouraging that over this period, only four percent of Nigerians have been covered in a situation where the government makes the means available to cover the less-privileged.
‘’This is why our government introduced the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) which is a contributory health policy. But it is not working, otherwise we would have been far above four percent covered in a nation of over 200million population’’ he said.
Also, the National President of AMLSN, who was represented by the Financial Secretary, Mr. Anthony Asiodu, enjoined members of the association to appreciate the knowledge gained from the seminar and be acquainted with global best practices.
In the same vein, the State Chairman of AMLSN, Mr. Henry Ukwamedua, appealed to the State Government to consider the immediate employment of more medical laboratory scientists to bolster the Health-for-All-Deltans vision of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
Also speaking, the State Chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Dr Emmanuel Nwose, stressed that the Universal Health Coverage was not working as expected, adding that the NMA had always maintained that healthcare workers were shortchanged in the Contributory Health Scheme.
‘’We are ready to collaborate with all the professionals in the health sector to make sure that the sector works. Let us work towards making the patient a success so that our healthcare delivery system can be described as standard’’ he said.
Corroborating other speakers, representative of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses (NANN), Comrade Adejo Abimade called for unity among all stakeholders in the health sector to achieve a common goal.
In his keynote address themed ‘’Universal Health Coverage in a Developing Economy’’, Prof Godwin Avwioro also recommended compulsory tax revenues for multinationals to take away the financial burden from vulnerable groups.