Catholic Secretariat Carpets FG Over Public Health

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Akin Akande, Abuja

The Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) has criticised the Federal Government over what it called lip service approach to the escalating capital flight through medical tourism abroad.

The CSN lamented the fact that the current condition of the health of Nigeria and Nigerians leaves much to be desired in spite of the enormous human and material resources available.

The secretariat’s Health Committee Chairman, Most Rev. Gabriel Dunia, stated this in Abuja while reeling out achievements of the Catholic Church in its 120 years of uninterrupted health care services to the nation.

According to him, Federal Government should as a matter of national interest take pragmatic steps by investing in, and encouraging solutions that appropriately fit into the nation’s context.

He lamented the fact that there was no policy framework in the country, which reckons with the substantial contributions by Catholic Health Services as well as other faith based entities and other non-governmental organisations to the health system of the country.

Most Rev. Dunia, who stated that the Catholic Health System is providing complementary and supportive services to the social welfare responsibilities of governments at different levels, said that there must be paradigm shifts from government in order to ensure improved health outcomes for all Nigerians.

The, therefore, CSN urged the Federal Government to engage Catholic and other faith based health systems as important partners in all health policy dialogues, programme designs and their implementation.

It argued that the National Health Bill and all other similar initiatives of government ought to recognise and respect the moral, religious and cherished cultural values of the Nigerian people.

“Laws which negate the intrinsic rights and freedom of Nigerians to life and its protection from conception to natural death should never be entertained under any guise whatsoever,” it said.