By John Akinfehinwa
A former National President of the Nigeria Medical Association, (NMA) Prof Michael Ozovehe Ogirima has called on President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government to do the needful by putting an end to the ongoing industrial action embarked upon by the National Association of Resident Doctors, (NARD).
Prof Ogirima made the call on Thursday, at the 2021 Nigeria Medical Association, (NMA) Kogi State Chapter’s annual general meeting and scientific conference held in Lokoja with the theme ” the deteriorating security situation in Nigeria, implications for healthcare delivery”.
The former NMA President said it was sad that resident doctors are on strike when the world is still battling with the deadly coronavirus pandemics.
The Professor of Orthopedic surgery said the strike has become a reoccurring decimal in Nigeria’s system for workers to press home their demands, stressing that Nigerians are the ones bearing the heat as a result of the industrial action.
He lamented the mass exodus of medical practitioners out of the county due to poor remuneration from their employers adding that the government should do the needful before things go out of place.
”As a medical doctor in this country, am not happy to see my colleagues going on strike. It has happened before and it is happening again, and I hope we will find a lasting solution.
“The resident doctors are fighting for survival. And if you see life been threatened, you will look for a means to see how to circumvent this threat that is causing havoc. Doctors are professionals guided by ethics. They too are human beings.
“Even though in the doctor’s oath, they said they would take care of their health, if a doctor is not healthy, he or she cannot treat. One of the attributes of being a healthy person is to have a meal. The means to have a meal is monetary. No doctor will go to the market today and be given anything free of charge. Morally, their strike is justified, but ethically, the strike can be prevented” he added.
He called on the Federal Government to look critically and implement the agreement they have reached with the striking doctors.
Earlier, the Kogi State Chairman, Nigeria Medical Association, (NMA), Dr. Omakoji Simeon Oyiguh said it is not in the public interest and national security for the Federal Government to continue to create the environment for continuous brain drain, as resident doctors continue to be frustrated by the Federal Government to deliver on training and service.
Oyigu said, ” It is not politically correct to employ doctors as Federal Government and cannot again institute the process for their payment, in a manner that resident doctors are employed and not paid for several months on the job”.
Speaking on the AGM, “the deteriorating security situation in Nigeria, implications for healthcare delivery” the NMA chairman explained that the theme is on account of the growing insecurity in Nigeria.
“Kogi State NMA is disturbed by the increasing menace of the kidnapping of medical doctors, which lately involve kidnapping a doctor from a hospital facility in this State. While the security agencies will continue to do their work, it is now important for all citizens to become more proactive in community policing, particularly providing actionable intelligence. It has become necessary to call on all doctors across the State to begin to participate in the community policing effort of government wherever they may live or practice”.