By Chioma Obinna
THE Nigeri an Medical Association, NMA, weekend described as hate speech a statement credited to the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Senator Chris Ngige, that in the United States of America and other developed countries, resident doctors pay for their residency training.
But NMA President, Prof. Innocent Ujah, said resident doctors are paid all over the world. Ujah said in a statement that in as much as NMA appreciates the efforts being made by the government to resolve the issues that led to the ongoing avoidable and unnecessary industrial action by the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, it wished to clarify the misinformation by the Minister.
According to him, the minister;s statement amounts to hate speech capable of bringing down the health system in Nigeria, worsen health care delivery and further escalates the rather unimaginable current brain drain.
“In the United States of America and other developed countries, resident doctors work as they are being trained and are paid by their employers. ‘’In the United Kingdom, the employers of resident doctors is the NHS, which is similar to what is obtainable in Nigeria. Furthermore, residents also pay to take their postgraduate medical examinations in the developed countries, which is what also obtains in Nigeria.
“The NMA is totally in disagreement with the manner some government functionaries carry out their duties, which is completely insensitive to the plight of the people.”
Accountability is the fulcrum for good governance in all facets and we do not demand anything less from those charged with the responsibility of governing the people,’’ he said.
Ujah said in order to resolve the lingering crisis in the Nigerian health sector, government should prioritise and improve the healthcare delivery to Nigerians and at the same time improve the welfare of medical practitioners and other health workers.
He said: “Perhaps, this will help to reduce the current brain drain that is dealing a deadly blow to our health care delivery system, which has made our hospitals to be regarded as mere consulting clinics.
“The NMA wishes to assure Nigerians that it is willing to partner governments towards enhancing quality health care delivery in Nigeria, despite the persistent provocation from its functionaries.’’