The Nigeria Medical Association have expressed deep concern over the ravaging rate of kidnapping and killing of health works in the country and has call on relevant authorities to help address the insecurity issue in the country.
The association stated this at the just concluded National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held at Gombe International Hotel, Gombe State.
They noted with with dismay, the failure of both Federal and State Governments to effectively check security lapses and the ravaging incidence of kidnappings in Nigeria.
According to the communique jointly signed by the President Dr Uche R. ojinmah and secretary general, Dr Jide Onyekwelu, the health workers have been targeted in some communities with some of them kidnapped during the discharge of their duties and few of them killed by gunmen.
“That health threats are increasing in every part of Nigeria and that poor Healthcare infrastructure, insufficient and obsolete equipment, Human resource shortage, poor remuneration of Health workers, medical brain drain, inadequate funding of the health sector, abuse of referral system, inter professional rivalry and insecurity, were the major threats to effective healthcare delivery in our country.”
“The NEC also observed with concern that the worsening insecurity in the country has led to the inability of both patients and health workers to reach health facilities in some parts of the country.”
“The health workers have been targeted in some communities with some of them kidnapped during the discharge of their duties and few of them killed by gunmen.”
The NEC called on Governments at all levels and the security agencies to urgently do the needful in addressing this menace and warned that, the already precarious health indices may worsen if left unchecked.
The NEC reiterated that “Section 14(2) (b) of the 1999 constitution (as amended), states that “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government, and the participation by the people in their government shall be ensured in accordance with the provisions of this constitution”.
The NEC observed that one of the most serious obstacles to the development of effective health services in Nigeria is inadequate supply of skilled Human Resource.
They lamented that it has led to serious manpower crises in most health facilities in the country with the health workers already being overstretched leading to serious distortion in the already poor doctor-patient ratio of 1:5,000 in Nigeria as against the WHO recommendation of 1:600.
“The shortage of doctors in the country is currently driving the epidemic of Physician burnout in the country. The NEC also noted the pervasive negative effect of Physician burnout on all aspects of medical care including lower patient satisfaction and care quality, Physician suicide and higher medical error rates.”