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NMA seeks better working conditions for health workers

The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), has appealed to governments at all levels to continue to provide the necessary safety kits and conducive working conditions for health workers to ensure their safety while discharging their duties.

The association made the plea on Monday at a press conference to Mark the 2021 Physicians’ Week.

The speech signed by Professor Innocent Ujah, and the president of NMA reads: “The year 2021 will live in our memories for a long time as it will be remembering the challenges that confronted health sector as well as the nation’s economy, occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic.

We wish to appeal to the various agencies of government to ensure that urgent attention and appropriate response be given to the full and complete implementation of the memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA)

“In commemorating this year’s Physicians’ week, it is important that we reflect on the devastating effects of Coronavirus disease on all social and economic circumstances, including health, education, economy, and entire social life globally.

“We must use today’s event to remember our members who paid supreme price on the line of duty in saving the lives of Nigerians who were infected with the disease.

“I urge all of us to continue to follow the established protocols while calling on the governments to continue to provide the necessary safety kits for health workers as well as a conducive work environment for health care workers.

Read also: Health workers call for FG’s intervention in salary structure issues

“The theme for this years’ event is ‘’Nigeria in the COVID Era: Health Systems Strengthening for National Security and Prosperity” This year’s theme was carefully chosen to be in tandem with the prevailing devastating Covid-19 pandemic characterized by first and second waves and emerging variants.

“It expedient to note that the COVID 19 Pandemic has greatly exposed the nation’s poor health sector with observable dilapidating health facilities and poor remuneration of healthcare workers.

“This has resulted in the call for a total overhaul of the nation’s health sector with the need to improve on financing the health sector in terms of budgetary allocation, effective implementation of National Health Insurance Scheme

“It is also pertinent to track the release and use of funds released for healthcare services at the Federal, State, and local government levels. Government should intensify its efforts in the Public-Private Policy (PPP) initiative.

“Health, it is said is wealth” but we add that Health is better than wealth. One way of commemorating our Physicians’ week is for NMA to engage in free medical outreaches to rural and underserved communities in the various states branches and FCT.

“This, we do as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to give quality health and succor to the indigent members of the community. This year’s outreach will be to different rural communities where sensitization on safe lifestyle will be emphasized with special attention to emerging and re-emerging diseases and the COVID -19 Pandemic.

“We urge all state governments owing doctors in their employment salaries and allowances to pay them so as to prevent further frustration among the workforce, as this is highly demotivating and clearly unacceptable. It is our firm belief that with the right support from the Governments, our efforts to provide excellent health services to Nigerians will continue to improve.”

Baba Issa, professor of psychiatry and Chairman of, NMA Kwara chapter who read the speech in Ilorin the state capital disclosed that the association in the state will conduct comprehensive medical examinations for doctors.

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