Nigeria’s Health Sector Blackouts As President Buhari Stays In London For Medical Checkup

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The Nigeria health sector is on the verge of shutting down as the Nigerian Medical Association, on Monday in Abuja, declared an indefinite nationwide strike which has already commenced today with the National Hospital down tooling 12am Tuesday morning.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on April 9, 2018, left Abuja the Federal Capital Territory for the United Kingdom, London, ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings scheduled for 18th to 20th April. Unconfirmed sources said the President will also be doing his medical checkup while in the London.

Resident Doctors Protecting. File Photo

Resident Doctors Protecting. File Photo

The President of the NMA, Dr. Kayode Obembe, during a press briefing on the failure of the Federal Government to address their demands and imperative of the strike, told BlackBox Nigeria there was no going back.

The NMA had sent 24-point demands to the government, including the discontinuation of recognition of non-medical doctors as Directors and Consultant title to any other health worker other than medical doctors.

Also read Resident Doctors Embark On Indefinite Strike Nationwide

The demands also include the appointment of a Surgeon-General of the Federation, payment of clinical duty and hazard allowances and withdrawal of the Central Bank of Nigeria circular on medical laboratory equipment.

“The NMA is taking this painful route because our silence and gentle approach to these contending issues have been taken for granted. We have to take this action in order to save the health care delivery system from the anarchy that is palpably imminent. We hereby appeal to all Nigerians for their understanding and to press on the government to meet with our demands”, he told BlackBox Nigeria.

Obembe averred that the failure of the government to address NMA’s demands has left the association with no other option than “to call all its members to down tool in order to press home their demands.”

Obembe said there was no way non-doctors could be allowed to function as Consultants, given that they do not oversee patients in the hospital.

He noted further that, “A consultant is the owner of the patient; many health workers now go about acquiring Ph.D so that they can be called Doctors. The title should be restricted to only a medical doctor.”

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