NMA kicks against FG-sponsored bill on establishment of traditional medicine board

NMA kicks against FG-sponsored bill on establishment of traditional medicine board

  • Faults non immortalization of Stella Adadevoh, 8 yrs after

The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, has decried the action of the federal government in sponsoring a bill on the Establishment of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine Regulatory Board in the country. 

The medical union also berated the government for not deeming it fit to immortalize it’s late colleague, Dr. Stella Ameyo Adadevoh, who paid supreme price in protecting Nigerians from the spread of Ebola Viral Haemorrhagic Fever, eight years ago.

The union, in a communique, issued at the end of its just concluded 2022 National Executive Council,NEC meeting, in Gombe State, observed that “some components of the Bill will be in conflict with the statutory functions of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, MDCN.”

The meeting which held with the theme: “Healthcare Delivery in the Face of Insecurity”, with the sub-themes: “Health Manpower Planning: the Challenges of Physician Burnout and Brain drain in Nigeria” and “Re-emerging Health Issues: Monkeypox Disease and Marburg Virus Disease”, according to the communique,”observed with great pains that eight years after paying the supreme price in the line of duty while protecting Nigerians from the spread of Ebola Viral Haemorrhagic Fever, the Government of Nigeria has not deemed it fit to immortalize our colleague, Dr. Stella Ameyo Adadevoh. NEC noted that this is grave injustice and a disincentive for patriotic Nigerians.” 

The NEC, in the communique,signed by NMA President, Dr. Uche Ojinmah  and Secretary General,  Dr. Jide Onyekwelu, also “noted with deep concern that health threats are increasing in every part of Nigeria and that poor healthcare infrastructure, insufficient and obsolete equipment, human resource shortage, poor remuneration of health workers, medical brain drain, inadequate funding of the health sector, abuse of referral system, inter professional rivalry and insecurity, were the major threats to effective healthcare delivery in our country.”

“The NEC also observed with concern that the worsening insecurity in the country has led to the inability of both patients and health workers to reach health facilities in some parts of the country,”it read.

It further noted with dismay, the failure of both federal and state governments to effectively check security lapses and the ravaging incidence of kidnappings in Nigeria.

“The health workers have been targeted in some communities with some of them kidnapped during the discharge of their duties and few of them killed by gunmen. 

“The NEC called on governments at all levels and the security agencies to urgently do the needful in addressing this menace and warned that, the already precarious health indices may worsen if left unchecked.

“The NEC reiterated that Section 14(2) (b) of the 1999 constitution (as amended), states that ‘the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government, and the participation by the people in their government shall be ensured in accordance with the provisions of this constitution'”,the association further said in the communique.

While noting that one of the most serious obstacles to the development of effective health services in Nigeria is inadequate supply of skilled human resource, the NMA said:”This has led to serious manpower crises in most health facilities in the country with the health workers already being overstretched leading to serious distortion in the already poor doctor-patient ratio of 1:5,000 in Nigeria as against the WHO recommendation of 1:600. “

“The shortage of doctors in the country is currently driving the epidemic of Physician burnout in the country. The NEC also noted the pervasive negative effect of Physician burnout on all aspects of medical care including lower patient satisfaction and care quality, Physician suicide and higher medical error rates,”it added.

It noted that “Nigeria has demonstrated capacity in effectively controlling emerging and re-emerging diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Ebola, Yellow fever and COVID-19 in the past through the institution of public health control measures and surveillance just as it took “cognizance of the fact that rapid population growth and the resulting encroachment into wilderness by humans, globalization, extensive resistance to drugs by microorganisms and climate change are the key factors responsible for the emerging and re-emerging outbreaks.”

“The NEC reviewed the level of progress in clearing the backlog of salary arrears of doctors and other health workers in Abia, Ekiti, Ondo and Imo states. The NEC expressed its disappointment with the failure of Abia state Government to pay salaries and other allowances of doctors and other health workers for up to 24 months. 

“The NEC considered the above action by Abia State Government as unfair, irritable and highly provocative to the tenets of civil service and natural justice. The NEC appreciated the level of progress made in Ekiti, Ondo and Imo States in clearing the unpaid salaries and wages of doctors and other Health workers.

“The NEC observed the slow progress made towards the implementation of the new Hazard allowance and the attempt to exclude doctors in Ministries, Departments, Agencies and those in Basic Medical Faculties in Universities.

“NEC also observed that some State Governments have always shied away from complying with upward review of salaries and allowances to doctors in state service. NEC observed with joy the fact that Delta state Government has already started paying the newly approved Hazard allowance,”the communique further read.

 

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