Dr Adedayo Faduyile, the President of Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), on Tuesday said about 48 members of the association had been kidnapped in the last two years.
Faduyile said this at a news conference to mark 2019 Physicians’ Week in Akure.
He said the theme of this year’s week, “Care of the Unknown Patient: An Overview”, was chosen to bring to light issues affecting Nigerians who found themselves in traumatic causes, especially road traffic accidents.
The NMA president said doctors in the country had been facing challenges like kidnapping in the line of duty, incessant harassment/assault by patients and their relations, unfortunate maltreatment by employers with poor salaries.
He said these challenges had contributed to doctors leaving the country.
“The Nigerian doctors decided to celebrate this year with the theme based on the identified lacuna in the care of this category of patients, especially in respect of policy framework.
“In the last one year, Nigerian doctors have had significant input in the improvement of the health of the nation.
“In this regard, I appreciate all physicians who have been working assiduously in ensuring that we collectively fulfill our key responsibilities to the Nigerian state.
“It is worthy of note that all have not been well with Nigerian doctors; the kidnapping of our members in the course of discharging their duties to the Nigerian state with some still in captivity.
“Despite the various challenges, Nigerian physicians have continued to render desirable health care services, and we thank God for another year.
“I want to state that it is important to continue to strive to improve ourselves for the betterment of the Nigerian populace,” he said.
Faduyile thanked the Federal Government for releasing one per cent of Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) part of which should be channelled to treatment of emergency conditions.
“It is sad to note that the Federal Ministry of Health is yet to put template in place for judicious use of the money.
“The NMA is perplexed that the Federal Ministry of Health is concentrating on purchasing ambulances rather than rolling out mechanisms that are all encompassing and would address all-the critical aspects of emergency care services including proper and adequate reimbursement of providers especially, at the level of private health care facilities.
“The Nigerian Medical Association uses this opportunity to drum support for the formulation of enduring policy for the care of the unknown patients, and appeal to government at all levels to be more responsive and responsible to the welfare of Nigerian physicians.
“We are making selfless sacrifices to sustain healthcare delivery in the country amidst various challenges including incessant harassment, kidnapping in the line of duty, the abysmal physicians to patients ration and rise in brain drain drought mainly by the poor general working condition in the health sector,” he said.