By Beauty John, LAFIA
The Nasarawa State Chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Wednesday, rejected the directive by the state government that all medical doctors under the payroll of the state government should desist from private practice and shut down their health facilities or risk losing their jobs.
Chairman of the state council, Dr. Sabo Emmanuel who briefed the press at the end of an emergency executive meeting of the association in Lafia, said that private practices have in no way interfered with the performance of the doctors.
“Medical doctors on the payroll of the state government had never been found wanting for compromising their official duties as they engage in private practice according to the laid down rules guiding establishment and operating private hospitals and clinics,” he said.
Dr Emmanuel opined that private practice by medical doctors in the state had contributed immensely in bridging the gap in the health sector which had gone a long way in meeting the increasing medical needs of the people over the years.
The NMA chairman commended Governor Abdullahi Sule for being among the first governors to pay COVID 19 hazard allowances for health workers which according to him, had enhanced the fight against the pandemic.
He however called on the state government to shift its focus towards addressing welfare challenges of medical doctors in the state, especially on the issue of lack of promotions which had lingered on since 2010, and annual salary increments among others.
Dr Emanuel disclosed that over 150 health workers in the state had been infected with COVID 19, as of this August.
He then charged medical doctors in the state to double their efforts in provision of health care services to the people.
Recall that the state government had recently directed medical doctors on its payroll who have their own private practices to shut down their facilities or face sanction