The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has condemned and rejects comments by Dr Chris Ngige. the Minister of Labour and Employment,
Dr Ngigie had alleged that in the United States of America and other developed countries, Resident Doctors pay for their residency training, whereas in Nigeria, the government pays them.
He was speaking on the ongoing strike of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), which is the umbrella body of all Resident Doctors in the country.
It could be recalled that the strike began across the country on 1 April 2021, after the federal government allegedly refused to implement the 13 points demand of the association.
Dr. Aniekeme Uwah, National Publicity Secretary of the NMA, said in a statement that Dr. Ngige’s comment – made on Friday during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today – was misinformation.
“The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) wishes to clarify the misinformation by the Honourable Minister in the interview, which is seriously viewed to be a hate speech capable of bringing down the health system in Nigeria and thereby worsening the health care delivery and further escalate the rather unimaginable current brain drain,” he said.
According to the NMA, “In the United States of America and other developed countries, Resident Doctors work as they are being trained and they are paid by their employers. In the United Kingdom, the employer of Resident Doctors is the NHS, which is similar to what is obtainable in Nigeria.
“In addition, Residents also pay to take their postgraduate Medical examinations in the developed countries, which is what also obtains in Nigeria.”
Dr. Uwah said the “NMA is totally in disagreement with the way and manner some government functionaries carry out their duties’ which is completely insensitive to the plight of the people.”
Accountability is the vital importance for good governance in all facets and we do not demand anything less from those charged with the responsibility of governing the people.”
Also, he said that in order to put an end to the lingering crisis in the Nigerian health sector, the Nigeria Medical Association advice the government to prioritize and improve the healthcare delivery to Nigerians.
And at the same time improves the welfare of Medical practitioners and other health workers, which is expected of every government that has the interest of its people at heart.
This is considered the most sustainable means of delivering quality health care to the people who in the first place elected them”.
“Perhaps, this will help to reduce the current brain drain being experienced that is dealing a deadly blow to our health care delivery system, which has made our hospitals to be regarded as mere Consulting Clinics.”