The Chief Medical Director, CMD of the University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan, Prof. Jesse Otegbayo, has opined that the worrisome high cost of health care services in the country was due to the population explosion of its citizens, advising that there was the need to focus more on reproductive health and family planning as a proactive measure to curb the menace.
Otegbayo made the call on Monday, during a press conference to herald the College’s 66th anniversary celebration, which was held at the hospital’s board room.
According to him, the cost of healthcare services will continue to increase moreso that the economy of the country at present, is not favourable.
He said, “We all know that the economy of Nigeria at this point is not smiling at anybody. I will say the cost of healthcare services will continue to increase because the inflation is just there.
“For me, however, the solution is universal healthcare. In any system, when people pay out of pocket, it becomes unaffordable at a level. The universal healthcare through health insurance is the way out.
“Secondly, we must get our primary healthcare fixed. If we don’t fix our primary healthcare, there is no way we can fix our healthcare system. And thirdly, we need to reduce our population.
“Nigeria’s population is exploding. It is being said that by the year 2030, our population will be like that of the US, which is over four hundred million. That is not something we should allow to happen.
“When President Ibrahim Babangida was the military President, there was this rule of four children per family, which is still even high, but these days, you see people with several children. We need to take bold steps to address the issue of population growth, or we will face a serious healthcare crisis in the future,” he said.
Speaking on the forthcoming 66th-anniversary celebration of the hospital, Otegbayo noted that UCH stood as a testament to the power of the collective dedication and the enduring spirit of healthcare excellence, saying: “Today marks a momentous occasion as we gather to celebrate the 66th anniversary of our beloved institution’s sixty-six years of unwavering commitment to health, compassion and progress.
“As we reflect on the journey that brought us here, we recognise the countless lives touched, healed and transformed within these walls.
“Over the years, we have witnessed tremendous advancements in medicine, technology and patient care. Through it all, our commitment to providing the highest standard of services has remained resolute. Together, we have faced challenges, embraced innovation, and upheld a tradition of compassionate care that defines our institution.
“The challenges further geared us to ensure that a high standard has to be maintained in the coming years. This is because, the world sees every contribution that we make, and I encourage every one of our staff to be motivated and keep the good faith up as we carry out our duties,” Otegbayo urged.