BENIN – The newly-elected President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr Kayode Obembe, has called for adequate security for its members, to curtail the incessant kidnapping of doctors in the country.
Obembe made the call at a news conference on Sunday at the end of the NMA’s 54th Annual General Meeting and Delegates Conference held in Benin.
“It is common knowledge that doctors are the most vulnerable group when it comes to kidnapping.
“It is time for us to ask for police escorts for members wherever we are going because it is a proven fact that we are delivering services to all Nigerians and we are not protected.
“We want government at all levels to provide police protection for doctors in the course of their duties, including in their various health institutions.
“Judges are protected round-the-clock, even in their houses, so why can’t the government do the same for the doctors,” he said.
Obembe said that by ensuring the safety of doctors, it would also be beneficial to the public, stressing that when doctors are kidnapped, patients would also feel the pains.
On the decadence in the Primary Healthcare centres, he said that the passage of the National Health bill (NHB) would proffer the needed solution.
The new NMA president said that the bill allowed for a certain amount of money to be geared towards primary healthcare development in the country.
Speaking on the perceived gap in public sector doctors receiving more benefits, Obembe said that the Community Based Health Insurance Scheme (CBHIS), when fully operational, would bridge the gap.
He said that under the scheme, every community would have a doctor who would be the Primary Healthcare Provider for that community.
The NMA President said that with the Health Insurance coverage in place, every citizen would have access to “promotive, curative and rehabilitative health services”.
He also called for more cooperation from the media in the coverage of the association’s assignments.
Obembe added that the association was poised to promote Universal Health Coverage for all Nigerians. (NAN)