Says Labour minister’s statement capable of bringing down health system By Chioma Obinna The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, weekend described a statement credited to the Minister of Labour and Productivity,Senator Chris Ngige that in the United States of America (USA) and other developed countries, resident doctors pay for their residency training abroad as hate speech, insisting that, “resident doctors are paid all over the world. In a press statement made available to Vanguard and signed by the President of the NMA, Prof Innocent Ujah said as much as they appreciate the efforts being made by the government to resolve the issues that have led to the avoidable and unnecessary industrial action by the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), the NMA wishes to clarify the misinformationby the Minister. According to the doctors, the statement is viewed to be a hate speech capable of bringing down the health system in Nigeria and thereby worsening the health care delivery as well as further escalate the rather unimaginable current brain drain. “In the United States of America and other developed countries, Resident Doctors work as theyare being trained and they arepaid by their employers. In the United Kingdom,the employer of Resident Doctors is the NHS, which is similar to what is obtainable in Nigeria.Furthermore,Residents also pay to take their postgraduate Medical examinations in the developed countries, which is what also obtains in Nigeria. “The NMA is totally in disagreement with the way and manner some government functionaries carry out their duties’ which is completely insensitive tothe plight of the people. Accountability is the fulcrum for good governance in all facets and we do not demand anything less from those charged with the responsibility of governing the people.” Ujah said in order to resolve the lingering crisis in the Nigerian health sector, the NMA urges the government to prioritise and improve the healthcare delivery to Nigerians and at the same time improve the welfare of Medical practitioners and other health workers, which is considered the most sustainable means of delivering quality health care to the people who in the first place elected them. “Perhaps, this will help to reduce the current brain drain being experienced that is dealing a deadly blow to our health care delivery system, which has made our hospitals to be regarded asmere Consulting Clinics. “The NMA wishes to assure Nigerians that it is willing to partner with the governments towards enhancing quality health care delivery in Nigeria, despite the persistent provocation from its functionaries,” he added.