By Cross Udo, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday said that the Federal Government has disbursed a total of N100 billion to indigenous pharmaceutical manufacturers and healthcare investors as loans to expand their capital base and boost local production of medicines and medical consumables.
The President made this known while receiving the new Executive Members of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
President Buhari in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, explained that the loan was extended through the Central Bank of Nigeria’s support to the private pharmaceutical sector.
He added that the Health Sector Reform Committee (HSRC) chaired by Vice-President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, is currently exploring models for revitalizing the nation’s healthcare system, in ways that improve quality of care and the benefit package to care providers.
On brain drain in the health sector, the President said he has directed the Minister of Health to look into ways of turning “brain drain” to “brain gain” by engaging top Nigerian medical experts in the diaspora in knowledge and skills repatriation.
He urged the Association and other stakeholders in the health sector to support initiatives by the Federal Government and work with the Committees set up to chart a fast track to a health system that best meets the needs of Nigerians in the 21st Century.
The President also commended the association, which is the umbrella body of all medical practitioners in Nigeria, for consistently choosing peaceful resolution of differences on matters pertinent to the National health system.
‘‘I commend our medical professionals for their contribution to Nigeria’s exemplary management of the COVID-19 pandemic, the control of malaria, HIV and Tuberculosis, and other feats also achieved by Nigerian doctors in the diaspora.