By Ummul Idris
The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), says the country’s health sector is heading for catastrophe except the federal government urgently halts the current rate of emigration of medical and dental practitioners.
NMA expressed the fear in its communique issued by Dr Frances Faduyile, its President, and Dr Olumuyiwa Odusote, Secretary-General, at the end of the body’s 59th annual general conference, held on Thursday in Abuja.
The communique also condemned the alarming rate of alleged criminalisation of Nigerian Doctors by the Nigerian Police.
According to the communiqué, government at all levels should as a matter of urgency, prioritise healthcare, show better political commitment to health, pay better and competitive wages to revamp the ailing sector from total collapse.
The association also called on government to provide enabling environment for practice, security, access to social amenities and provide increased opportunities for doctors and other health professionals.
NMA noted that such critical factors could reverse the on-going brain drain and turn same into brain gain.
The association described as unacceptable a situation where the police authority still allegedly arbitrarily hound Nigerian doctors into prison without trial.
The association appealed to the police authority to stop such alleged ignoble act, noting that the association and its members must be accorded the needed respect.
The communique adds that all grievances relating to the Medical and Dental practice should be directed to the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), being the statutory body responsible for the regulation of medical and dental practice in Nigeria.