For Adequate Funding of Health Care under Democratic Control
The Oyo State Chapter of Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) describes as disturbing and ridiculous the recent media reports of how a medical doctor at the General Hospital in Eruwa could not carry out a verification test on a female student who was allegedly raped by a solder in the town. This is a manifestation of the deplorable state of health sector in Oyo State. It puts to question the veracity of the so-called success stories of Abiola Ajimobi-led government in the health sector.
The randy solder is attached to Operation Burst, a repressive military outfit specially created by the Ajimobi government ostensibly to curb crimes in the state.
On the Friday, 29th August, 2014, the soldier in question reportedly raped an ND II female student of the Polytechnic of Ibarapa. The report also has that the lady was eventually taken to Eruwa General Hospital by the Police for appropriate test to verify her claim of being raped.
At the hospital, the medical doctor on duty, Dr Jesim Gambo, was reported to have lamented about the lack of facilities even as basic as glove and cotton wool to carry out the required test. Gambo, therefore, reportedly examined the private part of the victim with the aid of the light on his phone through which he came up with a report which he described as inconclusive.
This kind of egregious decay and gloomy picture in one of the leading public hospitals in the state has exposed as fallacious the claim of outstanding achievement in health sector by Ajimobi government. It also reflects the gross underfunding and neglect which has seriously afflicted social services like health service delivery, education etc., in the state since the inception of civil rule.
It is so disheartening to note that despite the improvement in the Oyo state revenue allocation in the recent years, the budgetary allocation on health service delivery as well as other social services has been suffering a decline.
Take for instance, in the 2014 appropriation bill presented by Senator Abiola Ajimobi to the state assembly for approval on the Thursday, 19th December, 2013 a paltry sum of N25.6 billion which represent just 13.5% of the total budget of N188.9billion was allocated to fund the entire social services which include health, education, and housing among others. While in the same budget, a huge sum of N96.041 billion representing 50.9% was earmarked for the recurrent expenditure which in comparison to workers’ salaries is largely constituted by the unjustified jumbo salaries and allowances of a handful of political office holders who are less than 1% of the Oyo State estimated population of 19 million people.
Going by this background, it is very apparent that the poor state of health care delivery in Oyo State as well as in other part of the country is not primarily due to the lack of financial capacity by Government either at the state or federal level to adequately fund public utilities but as a result of self-serving capitalist economic policies which allows for a privileged few to get fabulously rich at the expense of the vast majority who wallow in hopeless misery and this remains the ideological hallmark of Nigerian governments at all levels regardless of political parties.
Therefore, towards reversing the deplorable state of the health sector as well as other sectors of the economy in Oyo state nay the entire country, SPN demands urgent need to cut down the salaries and allowance of all political office holders across the political parties to the wages of an average civil servant. This, together with the public ownership of commanding heights of the economy under a democratic control and management of the working people will help to liberate more resources to be invested in public utilities and social program.
The fact that this is only possible under a socialist government explains why we of the SPN are committed to the task of socialist transformation of the Nigeria.
The soldier in question has to be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted if he has case to answer. We call on the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), media and human rights organisations to be interested in this matter so as to ensure the affected student undergoes appropriate verification test and receives treatment at the expense of the government. We also call for adequate compensation for the victim.
We also demand that soldiers should be withdrawn from the streets and all civilian populated areas and for a well-funded Community Policing to be put in place to fight crime. Community policing should be under the democratic control of communities, working class organisations etc., to allow for transparent and effective activities.
SPN Oyo State Chapter