By Fatima Mohammed-Lawal
The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Kwara Chapter, has said that it recorded physical or verbal attacks on its members almost every week.
Dr Ola Ahmed, the state NMA Chairman, made this known to newsmen on Monday in Ilorin.
Ahmed lamented that medical doctors in public healthcare facilities across the state and the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) are being attacked for no cogent reason.
“Attacks on our members have been recorded across different hospitals in the state.
“Several reports, engagement and letters have been written to our employees, especially the management of UITH and Kwara Government, but we have not seen remarkable improvement,” he said.
Ahmed revealed that the series of assault is causing psychological trauma for their members as they fear for their lives.
He cited the recent attack on a member of the Association of Resident Doctors, ARD-UITH, by some relatives of a deceased patient.
He also decried the alleged killing of a medical doctor by patient’s relative in Delta while rendering services, adding that the Kwara NMA will not wait until that happens in the state.
The chairman however observed that 2022 was a very tough year for all Nigerians due to the economic hardship, as occassioned by high inflation, high cost of goods and services.
He also cited the devastating flood that ravaged many states, including Kwara, and later compounded by high cost petroleum products.
Ahmed stated that the healthcare system was also affected, while observing the poor remuneration, unencouraging condition of service for doctors in the country and inadequate infrastructure to perform duties.
“Many of our colleagues have left the country and the state and many more are ready to leave due to poor working conditions.
“The few of us left are struggling to cope with the difficult working environment, the ever-increasing patient load and at the same time take care of our families,” he said.
Ahmed thetefore appealed for understanding and patience from people, in following due process in expressing their grievances, adding that doctors will give care with respect and dignity to all.
He also called on the public to empathise with medical doctors irrespective of the challenges they face or their dissatisfaction in the course of receiving care in hospitals to channel their grievances to appropriate quarters.
Besides, the chairman urged security agencies, most especially the Police, to beef up security in UITH and other health facilities, and ensure diligent prosecution of ongoing cases of attack on healthcare personnel in the state to serve deterrence. (NAN)