The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has kicked against a plan by the Federal Government to invite an 18-man Chinese team of medical experts including doctors, nurses and those with sundry expertise to assist Nigeria in the fight against COVID-19.
President of the association, Dr Aliyu Sokomba, in a statement made available to Channels Television, advised the Federal government to shelve the Plan of inviting the Chinese Medical team rather, and immediately engage all key relevant Nigerian medical experts including NARD and present the full intents and purpose of the planned importation of the Chinese experts for full evaluation, cost-benefit analysis and consensus on the best option.
He also noted that inviting the Chinese medical experts will amount the Federal Government to be championing “illegality”, as all doctors coming into Nigeria are supposed to be licensed by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria.
Sokomba, therefore, noted that the Chinese medical experts have not been licensed to perform any job in the country.
“The attempt to import Human resources for Health from China into Nigeria where many qualified medical doctors and other cadres of health workers are yet to be gainfully employed is the height of insensitivity and disservice on the part of the Federal Government and their advisers.
“The challenge at hand would have been sufficient marker to agitate the FG to the direction and timing for massive employment of medical and other health care workers to provide enough hands in the industry to battle the COVID 19 as other nations are doing”.
The Minister for Health, Osagie Ohanire had on Friday stated that China is sending in more kits as well as doctors to support the government’s efforts in the fight against the virus.
“I have been notified of gifts of medical supplies from China, courtesy of a group of Chinese companies working here in Nigeria. A special cargo aircraft shall leave Nigeria in a few days to collect the items which include commodities, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and ventilators,” he said during the briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, adding that “Of great interest is that an 18-man team of medical experts, including doctors, nurses and public health advisers shall come along with the flight to assist us”.
The resident doctors, however, say they have distanced themselves from the plan.
“In the interim, NARD wishes to distance herself from the planned importation of Chinese medical experts to Nigeria in whatever guise or hood for the reasons presented in this write-up and many more,” Sokomba stated.
“NARD shall not contemplate further warning to distance herself from the Chinese adventure by way of withdrawing all her members from every public health facility in Nigeria so that the anticipated downturn in the output of Nigeria’s healthcare service delivery can be properly situated and traceable to the Chinese as is the case today in Italy.
“NARD hereby reiterates her position which was canvased earlier in the week for the FG to immediately and massively employ all qualified but unemployed doctors and other healthcare workers. Get them trained, insured, motivated and deployed nationwide”.