The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has expressed concern over the unfriendly government policies targeted at medical doctors in the country.
President of the association, Prof Innocent Ujah, said the policies include the removal of House Officers and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) doctors from the scheme of service, and policies on salaries for doctors, among others.
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Speaking on Friday during the second summit of the Medical Elders Forum in Abuja, he said the unfriendly policies and circulars was creating problems for medical professionals.
Prof Ujah said other challenges bedeviling doctors include envy from other medical professions who are either trying to take over duties of doctors or not staying within their own roles.
He also called on doctors to respect seniority and mentorship in the profession.
Minister of Labor and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, lamented the incessant strikes by medical doctors whenever their colleagues in the profession hold key positions in government, adding that it forebodes danger in the profession.
He said: “At no time in the history of NMA and the medical association have I seen our association and our profession in danger as I am seeing now.
“Many people will not see it but from where I am sitting and standing, I can see danger ahead.
“Doctors should ask themselves questions; why is it that is when your colleagues are in government that you go on the greatest number of strikes.
“Some of these colleagues were presidents, secretary generals of NMA and even president and secretary-general of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).
“Dr. Onyebuchi Chukwu, Dr. Isaac Adewole faced plenty of strikes. Since our government came, I have consolidated four strikes. Something is wrong. We need to ask ourselves some questions and be straightforward with the answers.”
He called on doctors to carry themselves with dignity and humility instead of playing God or viewed to be competing with Him.
Emir of Shonga, Dr Halliru Yahaya, said the inter-professional rivalry in the health sector over the years has led to fragmented health services.
He described it as a dangerous situation that has led to incessant strikes by various health professionals, and causing brain drain and ‘patient drain.’