The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Plateau State chapter and the Plateau Youth Council (PYC) have blamed the rising cases of deaths in the country on government’s inability to equip the healthcare system for optimal performance.

In separate interviews in Jos, the NMA Chairman, Dr. Daniel Meshach and the PYC Chairman, Dr. Fabong Jemchang said unless proper investment is made into the overhaul of the system to meet international standards, more Nigerians will continue to die for no fault of medical practitioners.

Dr. Meshach said, “We have been playing lip service to the system. The health practitioners don’t have all the things they need to work with. They use outdated equipment.

"Government is not investing into the system. For this we will continue to have this problem.”

According to him, although poverty and ignorance constitute part of the problems, government’s inability to make healthcare affordable and qualitatively accessible to the people constitutes the bulk of the problem.

“The National Health Act was passed in 2014 but has not been implemented. This is part of the problems because it forbids public officers from embarking on unnecessary medical tourisms.

"If that is implemented, efforts would be made to develop the health sector in the country because even the public officers would have no choice than to patronize it based on the provisions of this Act.

"Most of the facilities currently used by health practitioners according to Dr. Jemchang of the Plateau Youth Council are not just a hazard to patients but even the healthcare providers.

"Dr. Jemchang who was once a NMA executive in Plateau state said, “Healthcare providers in Nigeria are magicians.

"Even our attendants in the hospitals including the nurses, doctors and lab scientists and whoever that is working in the hospital if you see what they work with, it is a hazard to themselves and their families.

"We are doing the impossible because we do not have anything to deliver as far as international best practices are concerned.”

The way forward, the PYC Chairman said is for citizens to begin to demand for their rights from those holding public offices.

"He said, “Nigerians are supposed to be conscious to the extent that we hold government responsible for any decaying system.

"It is the function of the electorates who are not asking what their due is. We are only paying lip service to these comments and complaints.

"Nobody is working the talk. Nobody is taking steps in the right direction to begin to question these things and until we begin to recall and challenge those people that we have elected to represent us, then we have not started.”

He disclosed steps taken by the PYC to ensure citizens get what is due them to include inter-sector engagements.

“We have created templates for engagements for our people and will commence soon.

"It is a constant engagement and a reminder and is a wakeup call for all our people to put our hands together to ask for our due.”