Towards preventing a colossal loss of patients’ lives, especially among accident and emergency victims, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) has appealed to the management of government hospitals to prioritise stability of such patients while acceptable payment system are being sorted.
The PSN President, Professor Cyril Usifoh, in a statement made available to Pharmanewsonline, observed with dismay that the ongoing naira crisis could further reduce the unacceptable life expectancy in the country, pegged at 53, if all hands are not on desk to check the ugly scenario.
He has also craved the indulgence of the Federal and State Governments to the need to rectify the misnomer in the Social Health Insurance operational modalities, towards ensuring that all endeavours are inclined on the path of lawful pillars in the plan of action.
The number-one pharmacist in Nigeria, however decried the actions of the judiciary and other government functionaries, which aligned with the conspiracy of frustrating the common man as most of the courts in the land have stopped collecting old naira notes from people gearing to file processes in court registries, in spite of Supreme Court ex parte order.
According to Usifoh: “As it stands today, the economy appears to be grinding to a halt with the full potentials of a meteoric rise in cases of morbidity and mortality because disease progression remains a major risk factor in a population where the less privileged who relies on out of pocket expenses to access healthcare is denied access to cash.
“This certainly makes a huge quantum of Nigerians vulnerable to death if this unhealthy scenario remains unchecked.
“All government hospitals should be compelled to initiate treatments especially in the Accident and Emergency Units and In-Patients department while acceptable payment modalities are being sorted.
“This unfortunate development forces the PSN to once again call on the FG and State Governments to see a need to review the operational modalities of Social Health Insurance in our country particularly to ensure that all endeavours are inclined on the path of lawful pillars in the plan of action”.
Prof. Usifoh has also charged the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN to come up with a specific position to guide the banks in view of the Supreme Court’s declaration on the naira design on Wednesday February 8, 2023; noting that
this will go a long way in diffusing tension as well as restore credibility in the banking system at a time that most banks are no longer opened to the public for day to day banking operations and transactions.
He further recommended that banks should be mandated to upgrade their IT infrastructure, and leverage modern technology (Cloud and 5G) which are available already in Nigeria, in order to relieve citizens of financial transactions imbroglio.
The PSN President did not fail to appeal to his colleagues in the community to expand their compassionate relations with patients, being the first points of call for healthcare services in the community. He particularly urged them to empathise with clients, and if the worst case scenario means collecting the old naira notes, they should collect them, since the CBN can still credit their accounts after depositing with them.
He said: “The PSN wishes to direct community pharmacies which are the first points to seek healthcare globally to work out ways to sustain services within the ambits of existing payment framework.
“In instances where the last resort borders on collection of the old naira notes, we enjoin Pharmacy practitioners to collect such since we are assured the Apex bank will accept the old notes and credit our account balances.
“The PSN assures consumers of health that pharmacists shall continue to stand with them as we continue to facilitate the manufacturing of essential drugs in the factories and making them available at accessible Pharmacies at affordable prices in line with the tenets of the National Drug Policy”.