Reasons Buhari dropped Isaac Adewole as Health Minister
The ministerial list has been released by the President and nominees are currently being screened by the Senate. About 60 percent of ministers returned but conspicuously missing on the list is Prof Isaac Adewole, the immediate past minister of health and former vice chancellor of the prestigious University of Ibadan.
The Nigerian Health Blog has done some researches into the reasons the man described as ‘academically brilliant’ was dropped by President Muhammadu Buhari and here are our findings.
1. Poor performance
The Nigerian Health Blog can unequivocally tell you that Prof. Isaac Adewole even with his academic qualifications and wealth of experience performed below par. In his time, our health indices dropped from bad to worse. Aside from building and upgrading the cancer center in Lagos University Teaching (LUTH), facilities in other teaching hospitals and Federal Medical Centres across the country are in shambles or at best inadequate. In his time, the chances of a patient having access to specialist care became slimmer and our health indices which was already bad became terrible .
2. Low Health Budgets/ Poor budgetary implementations
Professor Folorunsho Adewole throughout his 4 year stinct as health minister failed to acknowledge population growth in his budgetary allocation and consistently churned out budgets that is at best suitable for just buying an MRI machine and nothing more. Between 2016 to 2019, the budget he proposed and passed to meet the health needs of over 200million Nigerians were: N221.7 billion in 2016, 138 billion in 2017, N356.46bn in 2018 and N365.76bn in 2019.
His budgetary allocation does not even meet up to 5 percent of the total National budget. This was a complete mockery of the Abuja declaration or WHO recommendation which clearly stated health budget should be 15 percent of the total National allocation.
3. Increased industrial action in the health sector during his tenure as Minister
Prof Adewole’s stinct as Minister was dogged with one strike or the other in the health sector. If it is not the Nigeria Medical Association today, it will be the Joint Health Workers Union tomorrow. Mind you, a good number of Nigerians die or suffer severe complications during these unending strike actions. He also failed to resolve the unhealthy rivalry between the doctors and other health care providers that have long diminished health care delivery in this country . Don’t forget that he was fingered in the crisis that rocked the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
4. Brain Drain/Massive exodus of doctors from Nigeria
You may not appreciate the import of this. But go to our hospitals, the place is scanty of professional nurses and doctors. Most Nigerian doctors and nurses have left the shores of this country for greener pastures abroad. The ones you see are either writing international medical exams to the UK, US, Australia, Canada, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Dubai etc or are already on their way out. The main reasons for this exodus are simple: poor income, poor facilities and poor specialist training. This migration though has been a problem that pre-dated the minister but it skyrocketed in his time.
And finally, the one that nailed him and cast his position as Minister in bad light which is still trending is number 5.
5. “Not all doctors will be specialists, some can be farmers”
While answering questions from journalists in a video that has been circulating on social media, the minister was asked why Nigerian doctors have to wait for a long time to get residency training.
In response, the minister casually said that all doctors cannot become specialists and can try their hands at other things like farming or politics. While still failing to answer to question, he said his tailor makes the best gowns despite being a doctor.
He said, “It might sound selfish, but we can’t all be specialists. We can’t. Some will be farmers, some will be politicians.
“The man who sews my gown is a doctor. He makes the best gown. And some will be specialists, some will be GPs, some will be farmers.”
What more do you need to drop a minister other than above?
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