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JOHESU Strike: NMA decries attacks on doctors, patients


Dr. Cajetan Onyedum
NMA Enugu Branch Chairman

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Enugu State branch, has decried incessant attacks of its members and some patients by striking members of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) in the state.

The state chairman of NMA, Dr. Cajetan Onyedum, made the disclosure in Enugu on Monday while addressing journalists on the lingering strike by the union.

The chairman appealed to medical directors in charge of hospitals to provide security for doctors and patients in various hospitals across the state.

Dr. Onyedum said that there had been incidences of harassment of doctors in the course of discharging their legitimate duties.

He said that members of the NMA were not part of the strike and needed not be dragged into it.

“We wish to state that the body of doctors in Enugu State is not part of the strike. They are on ground at their work places, ready to render their professional services to the deserving populace.

“We condemn the uncivilised action of members of the JOHESU who molest patients that come to hospitals to access medical services to convince the world that the hospitals are not working,” he said.

Dr. Onyedum said that the leadership of the NMA in the state needed to put the issues in perspective to guard against the falsehood that the hospitals were shut, thereby throwing the entire health system into disarray.

“We warn these elements to desist from harassing our members who go about their normal duties as any further attempt to assault members will be met with equal measure.

“We call on the chief medical directors and medical directors in charge of hospitals in Enugu to take charge of the situation and provide security for the working doctors,” he said.

The NMA chairman also called on the security agencies to deploy surveillance teams with a view to arresting lawless elements.

“We stand resolutely by the position clearly outlined by the NMA national leadership in this impasse that relativity between the salaries of doctors and other professionals in the health sector remains sacrosanct.

“The NMA in Enugu reassures the general public of its commitment to providing medicare to the citizenry,” he said.

Onyedum urged patients to avail themselves of the medical services in the various health facilities in the state.

Meanwhile, NAN correspondents who monitor activities in some hospitals in the state reports that some doctors were seen performing skeletal services to outpatients.

At the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu, doctors were attending to patients at the outpatient department.

A doctor, Chima Ibeneme told NAN that they only attended to new patients but not emergency cases like burns and casualties from vehicle accidents.

Dr. Ibeneme however, said that they did not have accessories like bandages, drugs, and other medical items.

Some of the patients who spoke to NAN expressed dismay at the situation in the hospital and appealed to JOHESU to call off the strike and save lives of poor Nigerians.

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