Nigerian doctors, through their union, the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, on Sunday, August 28, 2016, said non-payment of workers’ salaries in many states of the country has worsened the health condition of Nigerians.
NMA spoke in a communique issued at the end of its National Executive Council meeting in Enugu, Punch reports.
In the communique, read by its president, Prof. Mike Ogirima, the national medical association asked the Federal Government, to, as a matter of urgency, provide special bail-out funds for workers’ salaries and prevail on state governments to pay them as at when due.
“The continuous handling with levity, of workers’ salaries by some state governors, is worsening the health of Nigerians which depend on out of pocket payments and also causes internal and external brain drain, thus undermining the training and quality of service rendered by health professionals,” NMA said.
Ogirima added that the earlier bail-out given to the states by the federal government was mismanaged, adding that the medical body was canvassing another salary bail-out for the states by virtue of its role as the ‘custodian’ of the people’s health.
“NMA and all Nigerians are aware that some governors received bailout funds.
“We are also aware that some governors diverted the bail-out funds even when the workers are being owed.
“NMA as the custodian of the people’s health is urging the federal government to do the needful because indices we are getting about the health implications of the non-payment of workers’ salaries on people’s health is worrisome,” Ogirima explained.
NMA also demanded the full implementation of the provisions of the National Health Act, 2014, and expanded access of the National Health Insurance Scheme.
The association noted that failure to fully implement the law has undermined the aspirations of ordinary Nigerians for better health care delivery.
“This (non-implementation of provisions of NHA, 2014) has led to worsening health indices with persistent high maternal and under five mortality rates, infrastructural decay and poor motivation of health professionals.”