NMA Frowns at Incessant Assault on Medical Practitioners by Public and Security Personnel

January 16 17:25 2020

The Nigeria medical association,NMA has frowned at incessant attack on its members and wishes to bring to the notice of the general public the unfortunate trend of assault of healthcare workers in general and medical and dental practitioners in particular across the country in recent times. This is more disheartening that it occurs while discharging their legitimate duties.

In a press release which was made available to www.exclusivenews.com.ng the NMA is particularly worried about the lukewarm responses of security agencies, management of healthcare institutions and relevant parastatals of Government at all levels to this callous act mostly perpetrated by patients relations and surprisingly patients themselves; those the practitioners sacrifice time and resources in ensuring the best of care for amidst numerous challenges in the health sector.
More worrisome is the fact that the security agents who have the responsibility to protect Nigerians including medical and dental practitioners have been found to be greatly involved in this cruelty as primary assaulters, and sometimes as co-offenders. We have recorded cases of assault by men & officers of the Nigeria Police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps recently.
It is worth noting that in States including FCT and healthcare institutions where this barbaric act has assumed an alarming proportion, it is either no measure is in place to prevent occurrence or deter potential assaulters, or both. We also note with displeasure the disposition of relevant authorities including the management of healthcare institutions in cases where victims (healthcare workers) summon courage to seek justice.
It is also an undisputable fact that security agencies have refused to live up to expectation in ensuring adequate security for healthcare workers and doctors while carrying out their legitimate duties in spite of previous engagements by the NMA and her State Branches as well as other stakeholders with them.
In view of the foregoing, we wish to remind the general public that;

  1. Relevant laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria prohibit assault and molestation of any form. It is a criminal offence to assault any Nigerian including healthcare workers, more so in the line of duty as is the case of the incessant assault and molestation of medical and dental practitioners and other healthcare workers.
  2. The provisions of the National Health Act 2014 on assault, whether verbal or physical, are unambiguous.
  3. The Physicians Pledge accords physicians’ wellbeing a high priority regarding the duty of care.
  4. Nigerian doctors are committed to the delivery of effective healthcare to the populace. However, this cannot be achieved when the healthcare team works in a volatile environment with incessant threat to the lives and properties of team members.
    In totally condemning this barbaric act, NMA calls on Government at all levels, relevant agencies of Government and management of healthcare institutions to put in place genuine security measures that would help in putting an end to the unacceptable rise in the cases of assault of medical and dental practitioners and the entire health workforce. On this note, the NMA wishes to call on the Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, to urgently revisit the proposals made by the NMA at the courtesy visit to his office in 2019, especially on the need to set up a special task force to ensure 24 hours security for health workers while on duty.
    The NMA hereby direct all Affiliates and State/FCT branches of the Association to henceforth ensure that perpetrators of acts of assault on doctors are diligently prosecuted and take such further action as may be deemed necessary.
    The Nigerian Medical Association will no longer tolerate any act of assault and molestation of her members nationwide.

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