Patients have been urged to appeal to the Federal Government to stop playing politics with health.
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), which made the urge, noted that although patients are a priority, however, a poorly motivated health care provider will be unable to discharge his or her sacred duties as expected.
According to the association, patients are sadly the recipients of the various strikes by health workers, including the latest by members of the National Association Resident Doctors (NARD).
It urged the Federal Government to prioritise the health sector by increasing its budgetary allocation to 15 per cent of the total budget, based on its promise in the Abuja Declaration of 2001.
Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter, Dr. Enema Amodu, said in during a briefing: “The wake of COVID-19 pandemic, migration of doctors and other health workers in their droves for search of greener pastures (BRAIN DRAIN), disharmony in the health sector amongst health workers, breakdown or epileptic health care delivery vis-a-viz strikes and industrial actions of health workforce e.g. present NARD strike, are some of the problems facing the health sector.
“Others are: poor remuneration and motivation of health care workers e.g. the unreasonable hazard allowance, improper life insurance, etc., for health workers including doctors; casualisation of health workers across the various professionals including doctors at the different tiers of government.
“This leads to lack of dedication and commitment to duty – lack of adequate and necessary facilities for efficient and effective service delivery such as MRI, CT scan machines.
“To our patients, we need you to understand that you are our first priority. A doctor or health care provider that is unhappy, poorly motivated, distracted will not be able to discharge his duties diligently despite the oath sworn at induction into the profession. Therefore, we call on our patients to appeal to the government and her officials to stop playing politics with health.
“The government should please give priority to the health sector. Ensure the proper allocation is given to health. The Abuja declaration of 15 percent of the budget be adhered to; that way we can have improvement in both the welfare of the health care practitioners, as well as adequate provision of infrastructures.
“The agitations and demands of the various bodies and affiliates of the NMA such as NARD have merits, and they should be sincerely addressed with a view of resolving them.”