JOE EFFIONG, UYO
At the rate medical doctors leave Nigeria in droves, Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors Nigerians (NARD) has warned that a serious calamity may happen someday where Nigerians would wake up to meet hospitals without a single medical doctor
NARD told the press in Uyo that fewer than 2000 had within the last two years relocated to other countries with better facilities and condition of service.
President of the Association, Dr Orji Emeka Innocent gave the prediction while fielding questions from newsmen after presentation of a communique issued at the end of NARD conference tagged: ” Improved Welfare of Healthcare Workers: A Panacea for Brain Drain (Political and Doctors’ Perspectives)”, held in Uyo at the weekend
The Association called for increased budgetary funding of the healthcare sector in the country, to the tune of 15 per cent annual budgetary allocation to improve the quality of healthcare delivery.
Dr innocent said that the 15 per cent annual budgetary allocation would be in line with the 2001 Abuja declaration for healthcare financing in Africa and global best practices.
He said NEC of NARD also urged the Federal Ministry of Health to expedite action on checking brain drain by implementing the “one for one” policy on replacement of exited doctors and clinical staff.
“The National Executive Council (NEC) welcomes the committee set up by the Federal Government to mitigate the brain drain in the health sector.
“The Association urges a speedy conclusion of the task and immediate implementation of their recommendations to improve healthcare service delivery and reduce emigration of skilled healthcare workers from the country.
“NEC calls for increased funding of the healthcare sector in the country, to the tune of 15 per cent annual budgetary allocation in line with the 2001 Abuja declaration for healthcare financing in Africa and global best practices as well as the digitalisation of the healthcare services to improve the quality of healthcare delivery to Nigerian citizens,” Orji said.
The President said that NEC at their resolution urged the Chief Medical Directors of tertiary hospitals in the country to take responsibility for security in their various hospitals as NARD would no longer continue to watch her members being assaulted by staff, patients 1relatives or security operatives.
He said the association called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to investigate and arrest the perpetrators of illegal shooting of one of its members in Delta and to ensure they are adequately punished to serve as deterrent to others.
“We demand that the affected doctor be adequately compensated for the trauma and the damaged vehicle replaced. The NEC gives IGP two weeks to get this done as we would review the situation at the expiration of the two weeks the situation and our stand would be taken thereafter if the response is not satisfactory,” he said.
The association called on the National Assembly to make laws protecting the lives and wellbeing of doctors and healthcare workers, as the rate of assaults against its members within and outside the hospitals were alarming.
He called on the federal government, the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and all stakeholders to prevail on the governors of Abia, Ondo and Ekiti to urgently pay arrears of salaries and allowances owed its members.