2 Sep 2013

Doctors Give FG 21-day Ultimatum

The umbrella body for medical and dental practitioners in Nigeria, the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), has given the federal government a 21-day ultimatum to address the legion of what they called the challenges and anomalies confronting the health sector in the country.
The ultimatum, which was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, held at Giginya Hotel in Sokoto, noted among other things that the ongoing destruction of the fabric of professionalism and hierarchical order in Nigeria’s public hospitals and the health sector was worrisome.

The communiqué added that NMA would no longer tolerate the dislocated and unqualified suffering of doctors and other health workers resulting from non-payment of wages occasioned by recurrent irregularities in the implementation of the centralized integrated payroll system (IPPIS).

On the much talked-about fitness or otherwise of Taraba State governor, Mr. Danbaba Suntai, NMA advised Nigerians to abide by the provision of the constitution in resolving the imbroglio, just as it offered to make available professionals and medical experts in various fields of medicine to constitute a medical board to ascertain Suntai’s fitness if given the opportunity.

The communiqué also called on  the National Assembly to enact a law creating the office of Surgeon-General of Nigeria who would ordinarily have the job to decide on cases like that of Suntai.

Meanwhile, the NMA has expressed regret that the country spends about $800million annually on medical tourism.

NMA national president , Dr. Osahon Enebulele,  who disclosed this yesterday at the end of the association’s NEC meeting in Sokoto,  added that there was the need  to enact laws to halt the unnecessary waste of funds on medical tourism.

Osahon also raised the alarm that no fewer than 5,000 Nigerians go to India yearly for medical tourism a for such unnecessary medical trips.

Lamenting that until our leaders are made to believe in the abilities of Nigerian doctors by their patronage as demonstrated by Kogi State governor, Capt. Idris Wada when he had accident recently, the unwarranted medical tourism would never stop. 

Though, Osahon said medical tourism is allowed all over the world hence no country has it all, he however advise political office holder and public workers   not embark on such at the expense of tax payers money except when recommended after adequate screening by a combined team of Nigerian medical experts.

Dr. Osahon further said until the National Health Bill is passed into law to checkmate the menace, the nation will continue to be haunted by these unnecessary medical trips. 

Osahon said, “Though, medical tourism is allowed hence no country has it all even America, therefore, we are not saying it should be closed completely. However, what we are recommending is that the rate at which it is occurring now is very, very abysmal, unnecessary and unacceptable. We want a situation whereby even President Good luck Jonathan will line up among Nigerians to the Nigerian hospitals”. Dr. Osahon advised.

The NMA National President equally cited the case of Speaker House of Representative, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal as receiving someone who believes in the capability of Nigerian doctors through his patronage. This reason according to Osahon led to unveiling Speaker, Waziri Tambuwal as 2013 Face of Healthy Living and Champion of Health Checkups in Nigeria.

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