Forty-eight Nigerian doctors have been abducted by hoodlums in the last two years, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has said.
This is an average of two doctors per month.
NMA President Dr Adedayo Faduyile stated this yesterday in Akure, the Ondo State capital, while addressing reporters on activities to mark the beginning of the 2019 Physicians’ Week.
The NMA president said the theme for this year’s anniversary is: Care of the Unknown Patients: An Overview.
He said the theme was apt in addressing what he called the lacuna in caring for this category of patients, especially with regard to police connection with medical practice.
Faduyile stressed that despite the challenges doctors faced, they still provided necessary care for various categories of patients.
He said: “However, in the last one year, Nigerian doctors have had significant input in the improvement of the health of the nation.
“It is worthy of note that all have not been well with Nigerian doctors. The kidnapping of our members in the course of discharging their duties to the Nigerian state with some still in captivity as well as incessant harassment/assault by patients and their relations.
“The unfortunate maltreatment by employers (government), ranging from general working environment and emoluments to the irregular payment of salaries with arrears running to 12 months or more in some states.”
The NMA president enthused that despite various challenges, Nigerian physicians continued to render desirable healthcare services.
He accused the government of not giving the desired attention to “the unknown patients”.
According to him, there is lack of commitment to the implementation of the National Health Act (NHA) Act (enacted in 2014), which caters for patients in emergency situations.
“Another good example is the care of victims of gunshot injuries. With broad provisions in the NHA 2014, there is no policy statement that clearly addresses the various components of the emergency care services for this set of patients,” Faduyile said.
He called for the formulation of enduring policy for the care of “the unknown patients” and Nigerian physicians amidst various challenges.