NMA Chairman Expresses Concerns Over Insecurity, Welfare Package, Solicit Immediate Govt Approach …hails governor Oyebanji giant strides in Ekiti

  • By Demola Atobaba, Ado-Ekiti

The Chairman, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Ekiti State Branch, Dr Babatunde Olaniyi Rosiji, has expressed displeasure over the insecurity and as well the welfare of healthcare providers and the inadequate of facilities across public hospitals in the country.

He said, despite all the challenges in the country and particularly the huge work load upon the health personnels of recent occasioned by ‘Japa’ syndrome. “We want to thank God that we are not be consumed by the burden”.


Dr Rosiji who also doubled as the NMA Chairman Southwest Zone, stated this while addressing newsmen at a press briefing at the state office of the association in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital. He disclosed that the challenges facing the health sector and their practitioners in the country are too enormous to bear.

He said, “The Physicians Week 2023” with the theme: “It is Our Time To Get It Right in the Health Sector”. This gives us an opportunity to also reflect as a nation on getting it right. We hope the occasion will galvanize supports for healthcare workers in which both government at all levels and every stakeholders will rally round to make sure that the healthcare system works for the average citizens of the country.

“You will be surprised that many of our colleagues who celebrated this same annual week with us last year are already out of the country and I tell people jokingly that it’s those people you see today that you know are still present with you because you will be surprised that, even many of the Doctors that are currently on ground at the moment are at the departure lounges. They have written foreign exams and they are only waiting to fine-tune their papers and to raise enough funds to be able to resettle outside the country. This tells that there are a lot of problems awaiting the health sector if we don’t do something deliberate and urgent to address the ugly situation.

“To cure the cancer of brain drain we need a multi-faceted approach. The first approach is to show the health practitioners that they are appreciated and the easiest way government can show that they are appreciated is to make their wage competitive to what they are running to get outside the country and improve their welfare conditions.

“There has to be a systemic overhaul, let people feel safe at their workplace, let every health worker know that if I leave my family at home attending to people in the hospital, the system is taking care of my family and by the time we do that, the allure of jetting out everytime will not be there again. People we have their minds at rest and feel that there’s no place like home.

“Aside what the government can do and what we expect the health workers to do. The communities and the people of Nigeria too need to come to a point where we begin to appreciate the healthcare workers, because what we see around is a lot of antagonisms, people fighting their healthcare providers. We know people are getting aware of litigation and all the rest, but see your healthcare providers as your friends and partners in progress. When we show them that they are appreciated, we show them the warmth, love and the support, they are more likely to feel like staying rather than going outside the country”, he said.

According to him, “As we all know and can bear witness to, our dear country is passing through a very difficult time and we as citizens bear the brunt. The times are unprecedented! Patients are finding it difficult to present early to the hospitals for economic reasons. The exchange rate is making the cost of drugs and medical supplies beyond the reach of the average citizens. Patients on medications for chronic illnesses such as hypertension and diabetes are finding it difficult to access an uninterrupted supply of drugs. While health insurance is beginning to take roots, the price of drugs in the insurance scheme is out of touch with current realities. If this continues unchecked, your guess is as good as mine.

“We as an association are exploring all peaceful avenues towards securing some economic reprieve for our beloved members. Despite the increased workload occasioned by the worsening brain drain, our members across all the hospitals have taken it upon themselves that clinical services are rendered in a seamless manner. This is taking its toll upon our health and families.

He said, “Our social lives have become virtually non-existent but we keep faith that tough times never last, but tough people do! We only expect that taking this sacrifice on ourselves, the community we serve will recognize this and appreciate the few hands remaining rather than antagonize and fight them. Every single doctor you see staying back to practice in Nigeria today is a hero! Some have chosen to stay back not become the offers abroad are not tempting and alluring, but because for now, the equilibrium is still tilted towards staying back.

There is thus a need to do all possible that those currently willing to stay back and those in the ‘departure lounge’ are ‘tempted’ and ‘courted’ to stay. Those you see today, you may not see tomorrow, not because of death but because the grass is greener on the other side! Hold them dearly today, your warmth and love may be all that is needed to probably convince them to stay.

The NMA Boss lauded the governor of Ekiti State for his giant stride in office in the last one year. “I must single out the Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji for his dogged commitment and resolve towards making the health sector in Ekiti State work. While we have made a resolve to toe the path of advocacy and dialogue in the interest of Ekiti people, we have been equally blessed with a Governor who has listening ears and who is accommodating of positive ideas.

“The approval of the new hazard allowance, MRTF and pay parity for clinical workers at HMB are sincere steps to match the promise made by the Governor early this year. Mr. Governor, during the meeting with you earlier this year, you sent me ‘tell your colleagues to be patient with me, I will make them happy’.

“Your message was delivered in clear terms and the response is evident in the peace the health sector in our State has enjoyed. I am certain that many other things will still follow this fatherly resolute and reassuring message as the health sector still require attention. We need definite steps to attract House officers to our Teaching Hospital and Specialist Hospitals”.

He speaks further that, “We need definite steps to attract Medical Officers to our General and Specialist Hospitals and Resident Doctors and specialists to. Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital. We are using this opportunity to appeal to all concerned to see to the welfare of doctors and other health workers. Let us not allow bureaucracy slow the implementation process for improved welfare conditions of our doctors. If we don’t treat them well, the options are many!

The menace of kidnap of doctors/dentists and their relatives have become a daily event to the point of desensitization. The cases in Cross River, Enugu, Benue, Kogi and Akwa Ibom come to mind. The government and our fellow citizens are no longer moved by our plight because all we see is lip service. For us, the saying “In the midst of life, we are in death” is an existential reality. In fact, in the midst of work, we are in death. We and our relatives have lost our fundamental right of freedom of movement and our government and society are just moving on. At this juncture, we wish to thank God for all our colleagues that were abducted but lived to tell the story.

He urged government at all levels to swing into actions through investigation. “Our government should immediately investigate the quality of medical education being offered to our children in Ukraine. Let us stand up in defense of the health of an average Nigeria. As the great physician Hutchinson said “from making the treatment of a disease worse than the disease O Lord, save us”.

“This is our prayer for all those trying to foist ill-trained graduates on Nigerians as doctors.

Dr Rosiji called on government to sustain the deployment of all plans to prevent or abate flooding this year, adding that flood disaster added to the current economic hardship may break the spirit of many a Nigerian.

According Dr Rosiji, “The theme of this year’s Physicians’ Week was chosen to provide positive direction to the new administration as it relates to fixing our healthcare sector. The sub-themes shall augment the theme and better inform our government and people about health care financing and ethical issues in human organ donation.

We use the opportunity to invite our friends in the media to our upcoming NMA Southwest Zonal games in Osun State from 23rd to 26th November 2023 where medical doctors across the five States of Ekiti, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo will compete for the bragging rights to represent the NMA Southwest Zone at the National Doctors’ Games holding in Lagos come February 2024. As they say, all work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy!”

He appreciated the Governor of Ekiti State for the positive impact he has made within the last one year since he resumed office. “We are indeed refreshed by your governance style and sincerity. I thank Ekiti Kete for supporting our Governor to succeed in the mission of leading the State.

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