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Covid-19: NMA threatens strike over arrival of Chinese doctors

By Danmaryam Zayamu

 

Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has expressed shock over the intention of the federal government to bring in Chinese doctors to support in the fight against Covid-19 in Nigeria.

It has therefore threatened to withdraw its services if the government continued with the plan to bring in the Chinese doctors.

In a statement signed by its President, Dr. Francis A. Faduyile, the NMA said: “We are therefore profoundly dismayed to learn that the Federal Government is instead inviting the Chinese who from available accounts are not out of the woods themselves.

“The spike in cases and the death toll from COVID -19 in Italy coincided with the arrival of the Chinese in the guise of offering assistance. Even the United Nations has only just recently commended the efforts of Nigeria so far.

“The NMA would loathe reviewing her participation in the fight against COVID-19 considering the grave implications and the risk to the lives of her members should the Government go ahead with this ill-thought-out invitation at this time.”

The NMA, however, advised the federal government to, instead, review and approve better welfare and incentives to frontline medical personnel in Nigeria.

“The provision of adequate personal protective equipment, opening and properly equipping more isolation centres and health facilities across the country is an excellent first step. Deploying more resources to facilitate testing as we are beginning to witness community transmission of COVID 19 is equally a better application of scarce resources.

“The Government should declare a state of emergency in the Health sector and use the opportunity to fix our health institutions as a matter of urgency in a bid to stem the rot.

“The NMA urges the Government to expand the Presidential Task Force to include other critical stakeholders including journalists and the civil society to ensure more robust engagement especially as the decisions of the task force has implications for the health, wealth and security of our country.

“It is a great disservice to the morale of the long-suffering frontline health workforce if the Government goes ahead to invite these Chinese doctors. The invitation demeans their sacrifices so far in this pandemic. We fail to see how the 18 man team would impact the current efforts in any significant way.

“The Association, however, expects that the Government would rescind the decision in the overall interest of the country,” the statement reiterated.

While expressing its commitment to the Nigerian people and the Government, the NMA passed a vote of confidence on the frontline health workers in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that “we expect reciprocal trust from the Government.”

Written by ExpressDay

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