April 8, 2021

Doctors’ strike: Reps threaten to order arrest of MDCN registrar

Business Facilitation Bill

File: House of Representatives

By Tordue Salem, Abuja

Appear before us on Friday, or risk arrest, the House of Representatives Committee on Health Care Services, threatened the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) Registrar, Dr Tajudeen Sanusi, on Thursday.

Chairman of the Committee, Rep.Tanko Sununu disclosed this after the Registrar who was invited to answer questions on the ongoing strike by resident doctors and payment of house officers, failed to honour the summons.

He was reported to have sent a letter signed by a director of the Council in which he informed the committee at the last minute that, he was attending the Medical Council tribunal.

The Chairman of the committee lamented that the Registrar failed to honour an invitation on a national emergency while attending a personal engagement.

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He said, if he failed to honour the invitation by 9:00 am on Friday, the House will invoke all relevant laws and take the appropriate measures which may include possible arrest and other sanctions.

“We sent out invitations to all major stakeholders to attend this meeting. Unfortunately, he refused to appear.

“So because he is a major stakeholder, we have decided to call off the meeting today and summon him to appear unfailingly before us by 9 am tomorrow (Friday), failure which, we are going to invoke all the necessary powers of the National Assembly including the warrant of arrest on the Registrar.

“We cannot watch while people are suffering. We also call on the striking doctors to please temper justice with mercy. Everybody believes that your demands are genuine, but there are processes to achieve them.

“We were informed that they (MDCN) were right now conducting a medical disciplinary tribunal and meeting which we believe is the case of an individual.

“We are here to address national interests. Peoples’ lives were lost during the strike, services were interrupted, accessibility to health care was also denied because of the strike.

“And to make matters worse, in Nigeria 70 per cent of healthcare procurement is out of pocket. The economy has gone down, so access to healthcare is in question. We cannot as representatives of the people allow the country to continue like this,” he said.

Vanguard News Nigeria