…demands thorough screening of team by MDCN
..Ask FG to publish their names, designations/status, qualifications
By Chioma Obinna
The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA Thursday reaffirmed its position concerning the arrival of Chinese experts in Nigeria, calling on health professionals in Nigeria to be wary of what they described as ‘uncertified Personal Protective Equipment’, PPE, from China.
In a press statement jointly signed by the President, Dr Francis Faduyile and the General Secretary, Dr. Olumuyiwa Odusote also restated that NMA stand by its earlier rejection of the visit of Chinese doctors even as the Federal Government (FG) has rebuffed all entreaties.
The NMA in the State demanded a thorough screening of the medical team of experts by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) and other relevant regulatory bodies to verify their status.
They also called on the Federal Government to publish the names, designations/status, and qualifications of the “Medical experts”. “We are not against the receipt of donor support and equipment. We rather are against pulling the wool over our eyes going by the recent statement issued by the Managing Director of the Chinese donor firm operating in Nigeria that the medical personnel will be treating Chinese workers in their facilities. We are taken aback at this statement as this is at variance with the information supplied by the Honourable Minister of Health. We wish also to ask when Medical expatriates started coming to Sovereign States to treat her nationals? What happens to the Nigerians working in those facilities?
“We are aware that the Chinese team will provide “CCECC employees with critical and necessary healthcare assistance”, as stated by the Managing Director of CCECC.” It does not seem likely that the team will not have contact with Nigerian patients as the Presidential Task Force (PTF) would want to have us believe. CCECC has Nigerian workers among her employees.”
They further noted that consistent and progressive neglect of the Health sector and health care workers have left the industry debilitated, leading to the mass exodus of healthcare workers for greener pastures and those left behind are working “magic” with bare hands.
“We, therefore, believe this is the time to look inwards and deploy mobilized resources to strengthen our systems. The NMA in recent times has been at the vanguard calling on the Government to revive the health sector and trigger brain gain. The Government has continued to “shift the post” in explanation regarding this Chinese invitation. First, it was that these were mere donations, then to experts rendering assistance to set up test laboratories and now to the experts treating patients. No country allows foreigners to jump on their patients and manage without regulation.”
They further added that NMA was aware of the “Stride with Nigeria” mantra of the CCECC and their willingness to participate in the construction of two isolation centres in Abuja, adding that the gesture was no different from that of Corporate Nigeria so far, including the world-class isolation centre constructed and donated by Guaranty Trust Bank to the Lagos State Government without the help of Chinese experts. Unless there is something else, we don’t know.
“We wish to respectfully request the Presidential Task Force to deal with the genuine concerns of her people including all the professional bodies that have spoken out against this curious decision to engage the Chinese at all cost. A recipient of donations is still at liberty to pick and choose.
“We will continue to monitor this uncomfortable relationship with the so-called Chinese personnel. We shall not hesitate to do whatever is necessary to protect our long-suffering fellow citizens against any form of medical exploitation.
“We reaffirm our belief in the ability of the Nigerian healthcare professionals especially those at the frontlines to continue to do their best for our country as we continue to reject this “Greek Gift” from CCECC at this time.”