Kidnap: 48 doctors abducted in two years ― NMA President
The National President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) Dr Francis Faduyile, on Tuesday, lamented that medical doctors have become kidnappers’ target across the country.
Faduyile who stated this in Akure, Ondo state capital, during the 2019 Physicians week, with the theme “Care of the Unknown Patient: An Overview” disclosed that no fewer than 48 medical doctors had been abducted across the country in the last two years.
According to him: “at least two doctors have been kidnapped in two-third of the states in the country while some are still in captivity and some died in the captive of their abductors.”
He noted that the continued abduction of doctors in the country was capable of hampering health care delivery in the country, appealing to the Federal and State governments to stop the kidnapping of doctors in the country.
He said the two medical doctors who were kidnapped in Taraba state on March 2019 are still in captive of their abductors despite paying over N12m ransom to their abductors.
He said: “It is not fair that doctors on duty are being kidnapped. You cannot continue to give your best when you are being harassed on your duty post and our security no longer guaranteed.”
Speaking on the theme, he said the physicians decided to bring the issue to the fore because of its negative impact on the lives of those who found themselves in an unconscious state from traumatic causes or medical conditions.
He said: “The Nigerian government has not deemed it pertinent to accept the desired attention and value to this category of patients, the unknown patients.
“There is a lack of commitment to the implementation of the National Health Act (enacted in 2014) which reasonably provides for the care of patients in emergency situations including those with identity challenge
“There is no enduring policy to cater for the victim of the road accident which accounts for a large number of unknown patients.”
He also noted that the government has failed to issue any policy statement to address the care of victims of gunshot injury.
“Despite the release of one per cent Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) part of which should be channelled to the treatment of emergency conditions, it is said to note that the Federal Ministry of Health is yet to put a template in place for judicious use,” he said
He, however, called on governments at levels to be responsive and responsible to the welfare of doctors who have been making frantic efforts to sustain healthcare delivery in the country amidst various challenges.
Also speaking during the occasion, former governor of the state, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, said every government has a role to play in caring for the unknown patient, saying this can only be achieved through strong political will.
He said political stands at the root of meeting desired Universal Health Coverage and Emergency health care delivery.
Mimiko said current efforts to cater for citizens requiring emergency care as represented by the National Health Act 2014 must be made more practicable by decentralising the operationalisation of its provisions.
“Perhaps the potentially most impactful of the relevant laws is the National Health Act 2014, which does not only recognise the importance of state responsibility in EMS but goes ahead to attempt to enact a sustainable financing strategy.
“Every decent society should have a decent level of emergency medical services,” added that Nigeria needs to up its ante.
“We must pay attention to and invest in technology as it is and will continue to disrupt settled assumptions in concept and practice in all fields, the medical profession inclusive.”