There Is No Serious Shortage Of Doctors In Nigeria – Health Minister

Health Minister Suspends Eight Top NHIS Officials

 

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, says according to the data obtained from the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, there is no serious shortage of doctors in Nigeria.

Adewole noted that what is perceived as a shortage of doctors is actually the uneven distribution of practicing doctors within the country.

He said this is as a result of the emigration of Nigerian trained doctors.

“There is no serious shortage of doctors in Nigeria, people are free to disagree with me but I will tell you what the situation is across in Nigeria and many other African countries.

“The data obtained from the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria as of May 30, revealed that 88,692 doctors are registered in their books. Of these doctors, only 45,000 are currently practicing and that gives us a ratio one doctor to 4,088 persons,” he said.

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Adewole said this on Friday during the opening ceremony of the 38th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD).

According to him, the ratio of one doctor to 4,088 patients in Nigeria is better compared to other African countries.

“Compared to many other African countries the ratio is not bad, for example, in South African it is one (doctor) to 4,000; in Egypt it is one to 1235; in Tanzania it is 1: 14,000; in Ethiopia, it is one to 1 to 118,000, in Kenya, it is one to 16,000 and in Cameroon it is one to 40,000.”

He also explained that the challenge in Nigeria Health sector is the uneven distribution of medical personnel in Nigeria.

According to the Health Minister, there is a huge imbalance between the distribution of doctors to the urban and rural areas. He added that the Federal Government is however concerned about the issue of brain drain and has set up a committee to tackle it.

“The problem that we have in Nigeria is that there is a huge imbalance and disconnect between urban and rural areas, the North and the South; and about 50 percent of the doctors in Nigeria can be found in Lagos and Abuja axis whereas many of the facilities in the North and rural areas have no doctors.

“Federal Government is concerned about the disparity and has set a special committee to look into the issue of the brain drain and what can be done to keep doctors.”

Adewole also urged States and the Federal Government to leverage on available manpower to bridge the gaps of deficiency to improve healthcare delivery.

He said that in the bid to attract doctors in the diaspora, the government has initiated a scheme called “One-Eleven”, that encourages doctors in the diaspora to work for one month and enjoy eleven month holiday in the country.

ABUTH Doctors Begin Three Days Warning Strike

Doctors, ABUTH, Strike, HospltalResident doctors at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria in Kaduna State on Monday commenced a three-day warning strike.

The President of the Association of Resident Doctors at the hospital, Dr. Waziri Aliyu, said the strike was the last option to press home their demands.

The doctors had last week Monday, staged a peaceful protest in view of the fact that the management was not willing to yield to their requests.

Some of the anomalies they are protesting against are poor working environment and facilities, non-payment of full salaries and allowances, victimisation of members and reinstatement of sacked colleagues among others.

Dr. Aliyu commended the courage of members of the union for their total compliance.

He urged them to remain resolute and endure the difficulties they might encounter during the period.

Outstanding Salaries: ABUTH Doctors Threaten To Begin Indefinite Strike

hospitalThe Association of Resident Doctors at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria in Kaduna State has threatened to embark on an indefinite strike if their outstanding salaries are not paid by the end of August 2016.

They are also asking the government to address what they referred to as ‘deplorable state of facilities’ at the hospital.

At a meeting held after a peaceful protest on Monday, the President of the Association, Dr Waziri Aliyu, accused the hospital’s management of short-changing doctors of their rightful entitlements and victimising some of their members.

He also expresses displeasure over the poor environmental sanitation at the hospital.

The union said the doctors’ salaries had not been paid in full since 2013.

Marching from one department to another, the group appealed to the management to re-instate their sacked colleagues and immediately commence payment of all outstanding courses and examination allowances, fix the leaking sewages and clear all the grasses among others.

The doctors further claimed that their salaries were not at par with that of their colleagues in other teaching hospitals across Nigeria, a situation they said made them one of the least paid medical workers at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital.

The resident doctors said it was the first time they would be embarking on an industrial action to press their demands.

Pending any last minute resolution with the management, they vowed that nothing short of the management addressing all their demands would deter them from embarking on an indefinite strike at the end of August.

Reacting to the issues and demands raised by the resident doctors, the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Professor Lawal Khalid, attributed the non-payment of their outstanding entitlements to lack of funds.

He appealed to the doctors to shelve the planned strike, assuring them that all outstanding emoluments would be paid to them as soon as funds were available.

 

Kaduna Medical Conference: NMA Underscores Importance Of Lab Testing

Kaduna, Medical Conference, NMA, Lab TestingMembers of the Medical Profession in Kaduna State, have stressed the importance of effective laboratory services in the development of the nation’s health sector.

At the annual conference of the state’s branch of the Nigerian Medical Association, held in Kaduna, the state capital, medical experts lamented the common practice of doctors administering treatment without laboratory diagnosis.

The guest speaker at this occasion, Dr Adebola Olayinka reminded participants that laboratory testing is important for screening, diagnosis and monitoring.

For the outgoing chairman of the NMA, Dr Mohammed Ibrahim, quackery in laboratory service delivery is top among the problems begging for attention in the health sector.

The chairman of the occasion and Managing Director, Federal Neuro Psychiatric Hospital, Kaduna, Dr Taiwo Sheikh, wrapped it up by calling for a change of attitude to provide a more holistic and patient-centered delivery of service.

Beyond a negative work ethic, it was a consensus that other factors militating against effective laboratory services in Nigeria include the absence of a national reference laboratory and being slow to pick up on new methods and technology.

Lagos Government Says Its Not Owing Doctors For Work Done

LASUTH doctorsThe Lagos State Government on Sunday reiterated that it has always paid the salaries of all her employees, doctors inclusive, when due.

Some doctors working in the State Government’s hospitals had early last week staged a demonstration alleging that the State Government owed them an unspecified amount of money covering their salaries for July and August this year.

Debunking the allegation, the Government said the complaint by the doctors refers to July and August 2014 during which period the affected doctors went on strike adding that their salaries were not paid in accordance with the Government’s policy of “No Work, No Pay”.

Government also recalled, with regrets, that the period of the doctors’ strike unfortunately coincided with the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease in Lagos State pointing out that all entreaties to the striking doctors to see reasons and call off the strike were ignored.

In a Statement, jointly signed by Chairman, Health Service Commission, Dr. M.O. Salako and Chairman, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Dr. O. Williams, the State Government said it has promptly resumed payment of salaries of the Doctors since they resumed work.

The Statement, which reiterated that the State Government’s Policy of “No Work, No Pay” was still in force, pointing out that the Policy was informed by the fact that it was unjustifiable for any worker to be paid for work not done, also maintaining that any group of its employees that embarked on strike in contravention of the laid-down procedures governing such actions would be so treated for the period of strike.

Assuring all citizens of the administration’s commitment to its responsibilities of protecting life and property in the State at all times, the Statement reiterated, “Government’s policy of “No work, No pay” remains in force meaning you cannot be paid for work not done”.

Ebola: Health Workers Seek Better Welfare

Ebola
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Health workers in Nigeria are seeking protection and better incentives for their colleagues giving treatment for patients with Ebola Virus Disease.

According to the President of the Health Workers Union, Mr Ayuba Wabba, healthcare providers have been worse affected by the outbreak of the disease in West Africa.

The union called for the recruitment of more health workers and better legislature that would guarantee the welfare of the care givers in the front-line of fighting the Ebola scourge.

Mr Wabba was speaking at a forum organised by the National Union of Medical and Health Worker in Nigeria to provide training on how to manage Ebola cases without being infected with the virus.

Apart from the workshop, health workers also believe there is a need for insurance and better legislature.

The National Council on Health had, on Monday, passed a resolution to press for life insurance coverage for health workers handling Ebola cases across the country.

While all health workers are at the risk of contracting the virus, experts believe that those working in laboratories, nurses, laundry and clinical services are at greater risk.

The National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives have also threatened industrial action because of discrimination and poor welfare.

Statistics reveals that since the recent outbreak, over 240 health workers have contracted the virus in West Africa. In Nigeria, out of the six deaths recorded, three were health care workers.

Federal Government Lifts Ban On Residency Training Programme For Medical Doctors

Residency TrainingThe Federal Government has lifted the suspension of Residency Training Programme in all federal hospitals with effect from Thursday,  28th of August,  2014 (yesterday) while the ongoing appraisal of the programme continues.

The Federal Government has also reinstated all resident doctors that were disengaged as a result of the suspension with effect from the same date.

Accordingly, all Chief Medical Directors and Medical Directors of the training centres are directed to issue letters of reinstatement to the resident doctors to enable them resume work immediately.

The Federal Government urges the resident doctors to see the magnanimity of government in reinstating them as a goodwill gesture to engender greater commitment and dedication to their duties.

The Federal Government had earlier decided that Residency Training Programme in Federal Government hospitals be suspended, pending the conclusion of the ongoing appraisal of the challenges in the health sector.

The decision was made while the strike embarked on the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, which started on July 1, was still ongoing, and the Federal Government noted that the strike by members of the NMA had resulted in untold hardship on innocent members of the society who were in need of medical care.

The strike was, however, suspended on Sunday, August 24 (five days ago), after the Federal Government promised to meet their demands.

 

NMA Fails To Reach A Decision Over Strike

NMA-logoThe Nigerian Medical Association is yet to reach a decision over whether or not to call off the ongoing strike by doctors working for the Federal Government.

The leadership of the association sat in a meeting lasting several hours at their headquarters in Abuja on Sunday but could not agree on the update to give to journalist who waited for a briefing.

The representative for the NMA told journalists that the association was yet to fine-tune several issues that would determine what their next line of action would be.

He said that an update would be given to the media in 48 hours at which time all disparity would have been settled.

Medical services in public hospitals across Nigeria have been shut down by medical doctors since July 1, leaving many patients who turn up for appointments hopeless.

The Nigerian Medical Association, among other things, demanded the immediate passage of the National Health Bill, appointment of a Surgeon-General of the Federation, the payment of 100,000 Naira hazard allowance for medical doctors and the skipping of level twelve by medical and dental practitioners.

Doctors ask for review of gun ownership policy; reject proposed N5000 note

Doctors in Nigeria under the aegis of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) on Wednesday advised the federal government to liberalize the policy of gun ownership as part of efforts to effectively curb all forms of insecurity in the country.

The National President of the Nigeria Medical Association, Osahon Enabulele

Addressing a news conference in Abuja, the National President of the association, Osahon Enabulele called on the government to be alive to their constitutional responsibility of guaranteeing the security and welfare of the citizens until when the concept of state police is accepted by the federal government.

“Nigeria is fast descending into a hobbesian state as insecurity remains highly prevalent in Nigeria, with the possibility of violent death lurking at every corner and at every time,” he said.

Mr Enabulele said that the security situation in Nigeria continued to deteriorate “despite the publicized past and current statements of government that they are ‘on top of the situation’ with recurrent reshufflement of the security apparatus of the country.”

He called on the “governments at all levels to truly be ‘on top of the situation’ with respect to effective address of the state of insecurity in the country”

The association attributed the problem of insecurity in Nigeria to the rising unemployment rate in the country.

“We strongly call on governments at all levels to provide, as an interim/stop-gap measure, meaningful unemployment and social security monthly allowance for unemployed Nigerians and elderly Nigerians,” Mr Enabulele said.

Cynthia’s death

The NMA president, who condemned the unfortunate murder of Cynthia Osokogu said there is a need for drugs to be sold only to persons upon the production of a medical/dental practitioners prescription.

He said the association “observed with dismay the events surrounding the tragic and unfortunate murder of a vivacious and up-coming young Nigerian lady, Miss Cynthia Udoka Osokogu, and efforts made to apprehend her killers.”

Mr Enabulele said the events surrounding murder of Miss Osokogu, “underscores the need for drugs to be sold to the citizens of Nigeria only upon the production of a medical/dental practitioner’s prescription.

“The NEC therefore calls on the Federal Government to strictly enforce Prescription Rights in Nigeria, and to duly sanction violators of Prescription Rights. We also call for speedy dispensation of justice in the murder case.”

We reject N5000 note

The doctors condemned the planned introduction of the N5000 note and the conversion of N20, N10 and N5 notes to coins saying it will have a negative implication for the nation’s economy.

Mr Enabulele advised the Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido to “review his planned introduction of the single N5000 note, and N20 and N50 coins, on account of the likely negative implications for the economy.

“The Association notes that despite several similar changes made in the past no significant improvement in the economy was witnessed. Increased inflation rate have more often than not been the lot of similar policies in the past.

“We therefore advise that rather than waste the country’s resources in such an unprofitable venture, such should be channelled into viable poverty reduction schemes to alleviate the sufferings of toiling Nigerians.”

Text of press conference by the National President of the Nigeria Medical Association.