How healthy should high office holders be before they are allowed to hold office. Should we insist that they undergo a fitness test before they are sworn in…should that form part of their screening? I mean we would have to make sure they are not only fit enough to carry out their duties but also to be held to account after wards. This might reduce the likelihood of them suddenly falling sick when they are asked to account for their time in office.
The former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, has asked the Federal High Court Abuja, to allow him travel out of the country for three weeks.
Yesterday, his lawyer, Mr Joseph Daudu, asked for this on his behalf and based his request on the need to attend to urgent medical issues .
He urged the court to release his travel documents which had been kept with the Deputy Registrar
The Director of Public Prosecution, Mr Mohammed Diri, wouldn’t have any of that. He argued that the court should reject the application on the grounds that the former National Security Adviser is still been investigated for offenses of money laundering. There clearly is a concern that he is a flight risk.
He also told the court that Colonel Dasuki was released on bail only on the condition that his travel document be deposited with the court, as such, granting him this request would amount to giving him bail without any condition.
Colonel Dasuki is standing trial on a five-count charge of possession of illegal fire arms and money laundering, which he had denied.
He is also accused of being in possession of $150, 000 and over 37 million Naira in his residence in Sokoto.
Now lets look at high office holders who have suddenly fallen ill while facing charges.
*Aug 15, 2010 Embattled former Governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori, was reported to be suffering from an undisclosed ailment for which he was hospitalized in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
He was said to have broken down in prison custody a few days before that and taken to the hospital where he was said to be responding to treatment.
*FORMER Oceanic Bank CEO, Dr. (Mrs.) Cecilia Ibru was convicted in 2010 of corrupt enrichment but did not serve her sentence in Ikoyi Prison. She was rather living big at Reddington, a highbrow private hospital in Victoria Island, Lagos.
*Diezani Alyson-Madueke case
Perhaps charges of corruption come with a heavy dose of diseases.
Now to the other side of the argument… should there be a law regulating high office holders from seeking medical treatment abroad to force them to improve healthcare at home?
Take this bizaare case for example
* Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State blames the death of the first civilian governor of state, Diepreye Solomon Peter Alamieyeseigha, on harassment which forced to abandon his medical care abroad, has revealed.
In a broadcast , Governor Dickson, confirmed that Alamieyeseigha was forced to abandon his medical treatment in an undisclosed foreign country following fears that he was going to be arrested and extradited to the U.K. Well, I was confused because,Seriake Dickson is a governor…surely with all the wherewithal ensure the provision of the best health care within Bayelsa state…an oil rich state which enjoys 13% derivation…if he so wished. Am I wrong? What’s the state of our health care system anyway?
Here is a statling revelation…Nigeria needs no fewer than 237,000 medical doctors to meet World Health Organisation (WHO) standard.
A professor of medicine and chairman, Association of Colleges of Medicine of Nigeria, Folashade Ogunsola, revealed this at the opening of a three-day Capacity Development Programme for Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) Academic Staff in Nigerian Universities organised by National Universities Commission on Monday in Abuja.
According to her, WHO’s ratio for any country to have enough doctors for its population is 1:600 (one doctor of every 600 persons).
“We have trained more than that, many of them have left the country while many others are in different professions — banking, music and so on.
“Assuming no doctor leaves this country after being trained; going by the number coming from our medical schools every year, it will take us about 100 years to have the number of doctors we need.’’
Mrs. Ogunsola, who lectures at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, said that aside that number, the quality of doctors was crucial.
According to her, medical schools have quotas at present — the number of students they can admit because they can only train with the facilities they have.
The professor said that the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria and NUC were interested in the quality
The council makes sure that the people it registers as medical doctors have been adequately trained; NUC makes sure that universities churn out the kind of doctors that we need.
“Right now, we have quotas and for that quota to change, we have to re-think how we are training medical doctors and how we are funding our medical schools.
“Medical school is not all about lectures; the minute they leave, lives are entrusted in their hands.
“Government really has to think about how to fund medical schools in the face of dwindling resources so that they are not left at the vagaries of universities.’’
According to her, to stem the tide of exodus of medical doctors, there is the need to have a policy on healthcare in order to detach politics from healthcare.
She said that globally, a doctor is the head of the medical team, adding that it did not mean that others were subjugates as they all must work together.
Mr. Ogunsola advocated a joint training of doctors and other medical workers at medical schools so that they learn how to work together from the onset.
She also identified lack of job satisfaction as another reason why doctors exit the profession and called for a review of working conditions and upgrade of hospitals.
Earlier, Prof. Julius Okojie, NUC’s Executive Secretary, said the essence of the workshop was to revisit the Bench Mark Academic Standard (BMAS) for medicine.
He said the workshop aimed at fashioning out ways to improve the skills and competences of medical doctors by improving the teaching and practice of medicine.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that no fewer than 25 colleges of medicine were represented at the workshop.
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