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Reverse ‘No work No pay’ plans on medical workers – NMA

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By Aderogba George

The FCT Chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA-FCT) has urged the Federal Government to reconsider its plans for “No work, no pay” on medical workers, saying the act will further destroy the sector.

The call by the association was made in collaboration with the Nasarawa and Kogi state chapters at a news conference on Sunday in Abuja to usher in the 2023 Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Scientific Conference of the NMA-FCT.

Dr. Charles Ugwuanyi, the Chairman of NMA-FCT, condemned the proposed idea by the Federal Government, which took the decision following the ongoing strike by the National Association of Residents Doctors (NARD).

According to Ugwuanyi, if the government goes ahead with the plan, it will further encourage the perceived healthcare challenge of a dearth of doctors, where most of them have already moved out of the country.

He said that what NARD was only demanding for its rights was aimed at encouraging the doctors who were willing to continue to work for the country to stay.

According to him, at the moment, Nigeria has less than 25, 000 registered practising doctors, stressing that the government must find a way to encourage doctors to stay in the country.

The NMA-FCT Chairman also called on governments at different levels to take the safety of workers seriously.

The association commiserated with the Lagos State Government over the demise of a young female doctor, Dr. Vwaere Diaso, who died in a lift as a result of mechanical failure.

“The reason why most of us are dressed in black is not far-fetched; we are in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the NMA Lagos State Branch.

“As you are aware, in the last week, the media space has filled with news of a sad development: a young doctor, a house officer on duty, was trapped in a lift, and she collapsed and died.

“We are all in mourning, and while we pray for the repose of her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, we want to send a message out there.

“We at the NMA are indeed not happy with the poor working conditions, which on this occasion have resulted in the death of this young star with a very bright future.

“We are calling on the relevant authorities, the government at different levels managing the different hospitals, to take safety in the working environment seriously.

“We enjoin all our members across the country to take this message to the different levels of government,” he stressed.

Dr. Peter Attah, Chairman, Committee of State Chairmen of NMA, also frowned at the proposed no work, no pay approach, saying such an approach would not yield any good but would rather crumble healthcare service delivery.

Attah, who is also the Chairman of the Nasarawa State chapter of the NMA, called for dialogue between the government and the association in the interest of the health sector.

“We are disappointed by the approach and the direction the FG is actually taking on the matter; NARD’s demands are germane, and we urge the government to reconsider its decision and engage in dialogue.

“The 36 state Chairmen and FCT are fully giving our backing and support to the NARD struggle, and we will continue to remain with them because they are our members, and we will not allow any of our members to be victimised,” he said.

Dr. Baoku Olusola, Chairman, NMA Kogi State, on his part, called on the Lagos State Government to be alive to its responsibilities and investigate those behind the malfunctioning of the lift that caused the death of the young female doctor.

“We are calling on the President of Nigeria, Bola Tinubu, who has come with Renewed Hope, to give that hope to the family of the deceased; that is the greatest consolation they will get for losing their loved one, and not only money,” Olusola said.

Olusola further alleged sabotage in the health sector and pleaded with the government not to pay attention to such people.

He particularly called on the lawmakers to intervene, address the challenges bedevilling the sector, and save it from total collapse.

Dr. Ayogu Emeka, Chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the AGM, welcomed all invited guests to the 2023 AGM.

Emeka said that the thanksgiving before the news conference on Monday was to thank God for protection over members of NMA-FCT.

NAN

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