The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has warned doctors and medical practitioners against receiving and treating Covid-19 patients in their private facilities, stressing that such practice puts the lives of health workers in danger.
The NMA in a statement signed by Saliu Oseni, and Moronkola Ramon, chairman and secretary, respectively, of the Lagos branch, said the warning became imperative in view of increasing reports that some members in private practice were treating Covid-19 patients in their hospitals.
“The state officers committee has been inundated with several disturbing reports of some of our members in private practice engaging in the testing and management of COVID-19 cases in their facilities.
This is against the directive of the association as well as that of Presidential task force on the COVID-19.”
The council said this same issue had before now been thoroughly discussed at their last State Executive Council (SEC) meeting that no private hospital should engage in the management of COVID 19.
It maintained that this unwholesome practice puts the health workers in the hospital at risk of contracting the infection while serving as a major link to community transmission which threatens to perpetuate the ongoing pandemic.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the association wants to reiterate her stand on this issue as follows: No private hospital is allowed to engage in the business of managing COVID 19.
That any suspected case should be kept in a holding area while the appropriate authority is contacted to move the patient.
That association has resolved further that any private facility or doctor found to engage in this unwholesome practice shall be made to face disciplinary action.
That the NMA Lagos will not hesitate to testify against such individual at the level of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN)
“We urge our members not to allow themselves to be intimidated into unsafe practices by any authority. You reserve the right not to see any patient if there is lack of appropriate protective gears and report any concerns you may have to the NMA secretariat,” it said.