A female gynaecologist working in an Abuja hospital is currently battling for her life following a traumatic brain injury sustained from an attack by her patient’s family member.
The Nigerian Medical Association, Federal Capital Territory, FCT branch which said this at a press conference, Thursday, expressed concern over increasing attacks on its members, saying they were no longer safe.
The branch of the union, Dr Charles Ugwuanyi, who spoke, however, withheld the name of the victim. He said the development has become “worrisome to the Nigeria Medical Association at both state and national levels.”
“We will like to use this opportunity to address an important issue that is bothering us as far as our work in different hospitals is concerned and that bothers heavily on the safety of doctors presently.
“Recently, there has been an increasing incidence of violence against health care providers, including doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants.
” It is a matter that has become increasingly worrisome to the Nigeria Medical Association at both state and national levels. Here in the FCT, our domain, we have been getting increasing reports.
“Matter of fact, just some weeks ago, a female gynaecologist was assaulted in her place of work and she sustained severe traumatic brain injury and she is presently receiving treatment somewhere.
“We recorded such incidences in the past but it has come to a point where NMA will take a position and that position on this matter is that this act is not only condemnable, it is reprehensible, and we can no longer tolerate it,” he said.
He added that “our younger colleagues are getting scared of being involved, getting deeper in this profession.
He said, “Our younger colleagues and even some of our other colleagues are seeing the practice space, practice environment very dangerous”, adding that it is “contributing to the reason why you have mass exodus of doctors, out of the country.”
Ugwuanyi inaugurated a committee on continuous medical education, explaining that
continuous medical education was necessary for members since the best was expected of them.
“If we are talking of providing contemporary medical care, in line with the accepted international standards, if we are talking of reducing cases of medical negligence, if we are talking of reducing mass exodus of doctors and capital flight, people going out of the country on medical tourism, we have to take training and retraining of doctors very seriously and as far as NMA is concerned, this committee, is the first and probably the most important to us because, we are desirous of the fact that we want to provide standard care that is in line and will compete with any care that you are going to get anywhere in the world,” he said.
He appealed to patients not to transfer their frustrations of getting best medical attention to medical personnel, saying the latter were operating under unpalatable conditions.
” My dear friends and colleagues, both in the medical industry and beyond, especially our dear patients, we want to make it clear that we understand your frustrations, your frustrations are very palpable but you have no clue how much frustrations we keep as health care providers are also facing.
” The truth is that, we are all operating in this socio-economic climate, which to my mind and if you will agree with me, is not palatable to anyone, therefore, it is simply not right, to transfer any frustrations to any health care providers.
” We have our own problems too, we are only here to help. We are in the hospital to provide help and therefore, we plead with you, to desist henceforth, from harassing, intimidating and assaulting any health care provider.
“It is simply pertinent that we make this call at this point in time, in order for us to have a conducive atmosphere for us to continue to provide the care that we provide.
“You will agree with us that it is not easy for us. Any form of assault, physical, emotional, verbal or otherwise, matter of fact, henceforth, we are launching a campaign, across the length and breadth of FCT, to sensitize the public, in private and public hospitals, on the increasing menace, on violence against health care providers.
“We are going to take it serious so that the message will sink in. Once more, we are appealing to the general public to please, conduct yourselves when you enter the healthcare space. if you make us to be scared to attend to you, it is not going to do anybody any good. I don’t know what you are going to get out of it. It is an appeal and we will continue to make this appeal until the message sinks in,”he said.