NMA Confirms Kidnap Of Two Medical Doctors In Cross River

A map of Cross River, a state in south-south Nigeria.

 

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has confirmed the kidnap of two of its members in Akampa Local Government Area of Cross River State.

This was confirmed by the Chairman of the Calabar branch of the NMA, Dr Felix Archibong, in a statement on Saturday.

The incident which is coming few days after nine people were kidnapped in same axis has left many in fear especially as the axis is the only exit and entry route to the state capital by land.

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Archibong called on security agencies as well as the state government to do all they can to rescue the victims as their kidnapping will have a negative impact in the healthcare delivery, knowing that their lives are at risk.

Reacting to the incident, the state Commissioner of Police, Sule Balarabe, explained that officers of the police force have been deployed to Akamkpa Forest to secure the release of the Kidnapped Doctors.

Doctors’ Strike: NMA To Intervene As Ngige Meets Stakeholders

A combination of photos showing the NARD logo and the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige.
A combination of photos showing the NARD logo and the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige.

 

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, has disclosed that the leadership of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has waded into the industrial face-off between the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) and the Federal Government.

The labour minister made the disclosure on Thursday after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State house.

He equally disclosed that he would be leading a Federal Government delegation to meet all the critical stakeholders in the medical sector tomorrow in Abuja.

Briefing state house correspondents after the meeting with the President, the Minister said the government would go ahead to invoke the ‘no work, no pay’ charter on the striking doctors, describing the NARD’s resumed strike as illegal and injurious to the nation at a time the country was battling with the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

He added that it is illegal for the doctors to have embarked on a strike without issuing adequate notice to the government.

He also dismissed NARD’s claims that it merely resumed a suspended strike.

Kaduna Insecurity: NMA Threatens To Withdraw Emergency Services

 

The Kaduna State Branch of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has threatened that its members will no longer be available to render emergency call services especially at night and odd hours until what they describe as mindless and senseless killings in the State is urgently addressed.

Addressing a news conference at an emergency meeting, Secretariat in the Kaduna state NMA Chairman, Dr. Stephen Akau, says the apparent targeting of medical doctors and their families for abduction has dampened the morale of his members who no longer feel safe to attend to emergencies at odd hours, especially the recent abduction and killing of the wife of a medical doctor, Philip Ataga from their home by kidnappers.

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The association says this will no longer be tolerated, and therefore calls on the government to as a matter of urgency rescue the two abducted children of the medical doctor who are still being held by the kidnappers.

The association notes that the worsening state of insecurity in the state and the seeming helplessness of the security apparatus in the face of an increasing rise in the number of doctors as well as other health workers and their families being abducted in the state is a thing of great concern.

The NMA however, declared Thursday, 6th February 2020 as a day of mourning, stressing that medical personnel will only attend skeletal services on that day.

Don’t Force Us To Confront You Again, Osun Doctors Warn Government

Resident DoctorsDoctors in Osun State have appealed to the state government to ensure immediate payment of their salaries during the period they downed tools to push demands for better remuneration.

The doctors, under the aegis Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), spoke at its general meeting, held as part of the 2016 Physicians Week.

During the meeting, members of the association raised concerns over inability of the Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, to commence full payment of salaries, saying the development could make them opt for more industrial action.

Under Serious Hardship

The Chairman of Osun State NMA, Dr. Tokunbo Olajumoke, accused the state government of not paying more attention to the health sector.

He expressed displeasure over the “erratic” manner of paying salaries, saying it has subjected many doctors in the state to hardship.

Dr. Olajumoke said: “The welfare of our members in employment of the state government in the last two years have been very challenging ranging from fractions and several months of unpaid salaries to victimisation and demotion among others.

“The association will continue to lobby, engage constructively and consult in other to ensure our members welfare.

“I appeal to stakeholders and respected citizens to assist on this matter for sustainability of relative peace enjoyed in the health sector in our dear state.

“Doctors are under serious hardship; there are some that are not able to pay the school fees of their children and house rent but we are still attending to patients.

“I must tell you that nobody wants to go on confrontation, but after you have tried every effort in the line of dialogue and lobbying you may recognise the last option which may be regrettable”.

He explained that the sub-theme of the week, ‘Making the National Health Act operational’, was picked in an attempt to offer a broader paradigm in tackling specific health issues by adopting measures more far reaching and enduring.

“Two years after the passage of the National Health Act, we observed that it is still non-functional. Thus if efforts are not geared towards its implementation it may go the way of other acts and perpetually prevent us from achieving global best practices,” he added.

Guest speaker of the occasion, Dr. Callistus Akinleye, of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Osogbo explained that the current recession had led to increase in non-communicable diseases.

Among the diseases, he highlighted, were hypertension, malaria, tuberculosis and diabetes.

NMA Seek Community Collaboration To Stamp Out Quacks

Resident DoctorsThe Kaduna State branch of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has urged communities and rural dwellers in the state to collaborate with the association to curtail the activities of quack medical practitioners.

The NMA Chairman in the state, Dr Muhammed Ibrahim, made the call at a press conference ahead of the association’s Annual Scientific conference holding in the state capital.

Dr Ibrahim, while lamenting the high rate of unqualified laboratory scientists who perform the work of medical doctors in the state, appealed to the public to be always vigilant and report the activities of such persons to NMA and the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria or security agencies.

He urge people in rural areas to seek medical attention from genuine health providers and hospitals.

Meanwhile, the NMA has organized a medical outreach at Kawo General Hospital in the state capital, where patients were offered free screening and treatment for hypertension and diabetes.

Schools Resumption: Doctors Were Willing To Wait Till December- Akinwotun

Akinwotun_SegunThe 2nd Vice President of the Lagos State Chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr Segun Akinwotun, on Tuesday said doctors were willing to wait till December before changing their stand on the September 22 schools resumption date announced by the Federal Government.

“At the time the NMA initially made the pronouncement that we will wait till December, it was because we still had a lot of fresh cases coming up,” he said while speaking on Sunrise Daily.

He, however, noted that following the proper measures put in place, especially by all the states that had the outbreak, to contain the virus, the association decided to align its decision with that of the Federal Government.

He urged schools to properly implement the control measures that had been put in place and praised the efforts of the Port Health Services officials who preliminary screen people traveling into or within the country.

Dr Akinwotun commended the efforts put in place to contain the disease, saying: “If you compare Nigeria with other nations that have similar outbreaks, they have not been able to contain it the way we did. They are even asking for our intervention to assist them in controlling this in their countries”.

He added that in those countries people feed on the carrier of the virus, noting that it increased the rate of infected persons.

He further noted that if the virus was in the bush meat in Nigeria’s bush, we would have had our index case from within and not from the late Liberian, who flew into the country after being diagnosed with the virus.

“If we already have Ebola Virus among our bush animals and the hunters interact with them, and in the course of doing so, the body secretions come into contact with hunters that go into the farms to try and hunt the animals and process them.

“That hunter now goes home and have contact with other people” insisting that “it is not as if they are bringing those animals that are already having Ebola in those countries to Nigerian markets or bushes for hunters to go and hunt. If this thing was already there, we will have our own index case arising from Nigeria ab initio not someone coming from Liberia to Nigeria.

The leadership of the medical association, which had earlier suggested that schools remained closed until all suspected Ebola cases are cleared, yesterday noted that the association now had nothing against the new school resumption date announced by the Federal Government.

They, however, emphasised the need to focus on maintaining the “highest level of vigilance” in the several entry points, resuscitating the infectious disease hospitals in states and ensuring comprehensive screening of travellers, among others as conditions that must be met by the Federal Government.

The NMA President, Dr Kayode Obemebe also said” “All recent travellers to all the provinces of the current endemic countries of the Ebola disease, namely Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Sudan and Gabon, must be carefully scrutinized for the presence of the virus and epidemiologically treated accordingly.”

Nobody Influenced Change Of Date

The Minister of Education, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau explained why the date was selected and also wondered why some associations such as the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) disagreed with the date selected.

“It was a unanimous decision taken after a meeting with all state education commissioners and the health ministry. The ministry also wrote all state governors to give the directive more weight.

“At no point did anybody influence this decision. There were reports that the private sector influenced the decision. That is not true.”

“It may surprise you that when we fixed October 13, some people were very angry with us. What we did was purely on the professional advice from the Federal Ministry of  Health. You have to live and survive to get education.

“If the Federal Ministry of Health tells us tomorrow that it is not safe for people to congregate, we will have to comply,” the minister stated.

While lamenting criticism from NUT on the matter, the Minister said the association never got to the ministry on the shift in school resumption date before it went to press, stressing that “people are trivialising this matter”.

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.

 

Resident Doctors’ Suspension Reminiscent Of Draconian Military Laws- Tope Ojo

Resident doctorsThe Lagos State Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr Tope Ojo, has condemned the suspension of resident doctors by the Federal Government, describing it as laws seen only during the “draconian military era” which “gives sad nostalgia”.

He also accused the Federal Government of “neglecting  the key challenges that should be addressed”.

He berated the Federal Government for accusing the resident doctors of performing below average, and reiterated the call for the restructuring of the residency programme to ensure the production of the highest level of medical specialists. This, he added, is part of the 24 demand made by the NMA to the Federal Government.

He said the decision was coming at a wrong time because “there is a high level of inadequacy” in the sector, which had forced some Nigerians to go abroad for treatment, adding that “employment into the residency programme is haphazard. When you pass your primaries, they will be looking for space all around” to accommodate you.

“If you have a residency board, this will be holistically looked at and you will have a placement arrangement that will be handled by this board,” he said.

He emphasised the importance of the resident doctors in the medical sector saying “the residents form the bulk”. “You can have a board where you have four consultants and about 20 residents at different level of training. They participate profusely, deeply and seriously in the training of medical students; which means that there will be no medical training that will go on,” Dr Ojo emphasised.

He also added that the “post graduate resident training has to do with the mid level training of the middle level manpower in the health sector.

“They are people going through a minimum period of six years in different fields,” he maintained.

Dr Ojo also stated that apart from resident doctors conducting over 50 per cent of the tutorials in the medical schools, their contributions in hospitals is vital to the survival of the health sector

He said if the suspension was not withdrawn, “major surgical operations are shut” because “the consultants don’t perform operations alone”.

“The resident doctors prepare patients for the operation from the clinic,” he said, insisting that a neurosurgeon can’t perform an operation with the help of a medical officer.

Dr Ojo, however, called on Nigeria’s political class to patronise Nigerian health institutions and to desist from “picking policies that will shut down operations in the health sector”.

He also noted that the suspension was a calculated attempt by the Federal Government to break the ranks of the NMA, but  he assured that the association “remains stronger”. “Our minimum condition to resume negotiation is for government to reverse this unpalatable decision,” he said.

FG Justifies Sack Of Resident Doctors

Meanwhile the Federal Government in a statement by the Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, justified the suspension of the Residency Training Programme in all federal hospitals, “as part of efforts to reposition the public health sector”.

Professor Chuwku also said that “the quality of training has also progressively declined over the last decade despite recent efforts by the Jonathan Administration to revamp it”.

The Minister also added that the Residency Training Programme in all hospital in recent times had been beset by numerous challenges, including poor performance and unsatisfactory conduct of the resident doctors.

“The terms of admission to the Residency Training Programmes stipulate that either party (employer or employee) may terminate the relationship by giving one month notice or one month salary in lieu of notice.

“Accordingly, all affected doctors will receive one month salary in lieu of one month notice. One of the reasons for employer-initiated determination of the appointment, according to terms of the probationary residency appointment, is unsatisfactory performance by the resident doctor,” he said.

The Minister, however, stressed that “only resident doctors under the employ of the Federal Government are affected. Resident doctors employed by state governments in their hospitals and by private hospitals are not affected”.

FG Suspends Residency Training Programme In Federal Hospitals

Residency_NigeriaThe Federal Ministry of Health has suspended residency training programme in federal hospitals.

A statement issued by the Deputy Director of Press, Federal Ministry of Health, Mr. Isiaka Yusuf said that The Federal Government has  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, and that the directive is without prejudice to any emergency measure that may be necessary for the hospital management to immediately restore full medical services.

The Federal Government noted that the strike  by members of the Nigeria Medical Association has resulted in untold hardship on innocent members of the society who were in need of medical care.

According to the statement,”the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) made good its threat of 11th June 2014 by calling out its members on an industrial strike action on the 1st of July despite the Federal Government’s successive intervention meetings and dialogue including extensive deliberations with the leadership of the NMA on 25th and 26th June 2014, where agreements were reached on each of the 24 demands and an MoU was signed by both parties”.

The statement adds that “in the midst of the strike action, the Federal Government had also cultivated the attention and intervention of some eminent personalities in order to prevail on the NMA leadership to respect the ethics of their profession and end the strike whilst the dialogue is ongoing.

The health ministry further said that  the Federal Government  has implemented more than 90 per cent of its responsibilities as signed by both parties, and that  at the conclusion of each meeting, the NMA promised to call off the strike but would return another day to say that they could not.

The statement further adds that “for the whole of July 2014, these doctors did not work yet government, owing to the emergency situation in our country, paid them the July salaries with allowances such as call duty allowance, teaching allowance, hazard allowance, etc, believing that this magnanimity of government would appeal to reason for NMA to call off the strike”.

As far as the Ministry of Health is concerned, the strike can be considered as one of the most insensitive steps to be taken by any association or a labour union in the history of this country.

The statement also adds that pertinent to the issue under discussion are the current security challenges in the country with the attendant mass casualties, warning that the situation has been compounded by the recent importation of the Ebola Virus Disease into Nigeria on 20th July 2014.

”Following the Presidential declaration of a National Public Health Emergency on Ebola Disease which has united the entire country in the efforts to contain the disease, it is quite regrettable that the people who should take leadership role in the fight against Ebola disease are now the most unsupportive. All efforts by Government to contain this disease are being frustrated by the continued industrial strike action of the NMA”, it said.

The Federal Government has also reassured the public that optimal medical health care delivery will be sustained in hospitals.

Medical Workers’ Union Tasks Government On Good Healthcare

Osahon Enebulele.
The National President of the Nigeria Medical Association, Osahon Enabulele

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) on Thursday urged government at all levels not to shy away from its constitutional role of providing accessible, affordable and qualitative healthcare for Nigerians.

The president of the NMA, Dr Osahon Enabulele, gave the charge during the celebration of the 2014 World Oral Health Day celebration in Lokoja, Kogi state.

Medical practitioners, students, government officials, student nurses, and experts in dentist care gathered at Kafas Hall in Lokoja, the state’s capital to mark the World Oral Health Day which was being marked for the first time since the creation of the state.

In his opening speech, the NMA president, who was represented by Dr Kassim Davidson, said the right to good health of every citizen is guarantee and enshrine in the statue book and that the NMA would continue to contribute its little quota towards the state of health of the people.

In his address, the Kogi State Commissioner for Health, Dr Idris Omede, said oral health advocacy was a major component of the Federal Health Policy.

“It is in tune with the defective health care delivering services of the state government,” he said.

The Deputy Governor of the state, Yomi Awoniyi, who represented Governor Idris Wada, urged Nigerians to cooperate towards achieving the optimum oral health care goal policy, pointing out that the state is in the process of adopting the oral health policy despite the paucity of dental practitioners in the state.

 

 

 

 

 

Immigration Stampede: Medical Association Calls For Transparent Probe

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) on Tuesday said members of the organisation are still in a state of “shock and sadness over the despicable show of shame and monumental tragedy that enveloped last Saturday’s (15th March, 2014) recruitment exercise by the National Immigration Service at various stadia across the country”.

Osahon Enebulele.
The National President of the Nigeria Medical Association, Osahon Enabulele

The NMA also “expresses deep condolence with the families of all those who lost their lives during the unfortunate recruitment exercise”.

While the NMA supports the decision of President Goodluck Jonathan to institute an inquiry into the incidence, the NMA however called on Mr. President to conduct an “open and public probe of the events that transpired during the show of shame, with prompt sanction meted out to all those found culpable”.

The medical body also noted that “the prompt implementation of the outcome of the probe will help to rebuild the confidence of Nigerians in the sincerity of Mr. President to address all acts of inefficiency in the Nigerian system”.

As short term measures, the NMA called for the “immediate institution of unemployment allowance for all able bodied unemployed Nigerians and the complete overhaul of the recruitment policy of government ministries, departments, agencies and bodies, with the utilization of ICT technology”.

The association also called on the Federal, State and Local Governments to “act speedily to address the burgeoning rate of unemployment and other socio-economic inequalities in Nigeria by opening up more employment opportunities in Nigeria in order to halt the grave consequences of the rising restiveness in Nigeria”.

The NMA implores Nigerian universities to introduce programmes on entrepreneurial skill acquisition, with government providing the necessary financial and material support for graduates of such programmes.

The NMA further called on the Federal Government to ensure the return of the one thousand naira paid by all the applicants including compensation for all the victims of the National Immigration Service tragedy.

Edo NMA Issues 21-Day Ultimatum To Oshiomhole

The Edo State Chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has issued a 21 day ultimatum to the Edo State Government to address what it referred to as the comatose state of the health sector or else it will embark on an indefinite strike.

Chairman of the Association, Dr Emmanuel Ighodaro, while addressing journalists in Benin City on Thursday, said they had drawn the attention of the governor to these issues in February 2013 and since then nothing remarkable had been observed.

The Association threatened to embark on strike if there were deductions from their salaries owing to their participation in the national NMA warning strike.

The issues the NMA expects the Edo State government to address include poor infrastructure and lack of appropriate working tools, gross shortage of manpower and the expansion of Universal Health coverage through the National Health Insurance Scheme and community based Health Insurance Scheme.

Others include stagnation in grade level due to non-release of health workers promotion since 2011, multiple taxation in private facilities in the state and the immediate implementation of the consolidated salary structure in the state.

The union also said that aside the 21 day-strike threat, it had written to the government not to deduct their salaries for participating in the national strike else they weould go on strike.

“While it is unrealistic to expect that all the issues will be addressed within 21 days, it will be content with an MOU containing a genuine road map on how these issues will be addressed,” the NMA stressed.