Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Ongoing Strike not meant to Punish Masses - NMA

The Nnewi branch of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has said that the ongoing industrial action was not meant to punish the masses and appealed to Nigerians to understand their predicament.

Dr Joseph Ugbaja, the branch Chairman of the association, made the appeal in an interview with newsmen on Tuesday at Nnewi.

“I want to assure Nigerians that the strike is a struggle in which all and sundry will benefit from, once the right thing is done in the health sector.”

He expressed worry over what he termed “medical tourism abroad by Nigerians,” saying that it had resulted to serious capital flight.

“The countries where affluent Nigerians rush to for medical treatment can boast of right the equipment, adequate training, and conducive operational environment for the health personnel.

“It is really sad that government keeps signing Memorandum of Understanding whenever there is a faceoff, yet they have not demonstrated the willingness to implement the agreements.

“The sector gets less than seven per cent of the country's annual budget in spite of its strategic importance and the general belief that health is wealth.

“I just told you how our people who can afford it rush abroad to get medical treatment; why can’t we fix our health sector so that quality services can be rendered in the country.

“The doctors, who are the chief custodians of the health sector, can no longer fold their arms and watch the sector deteriorate to an abysmal level,” Ugbaja said. (NAN)

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