The FCT Chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA-FCT) has urged the Federal Government to reconsider its intentions to implement the “No work, no pay” policy for medical workers, arguing that the act will further devastate the sector.
At a news conference held on Sunday in Abuja, the association, in collaboration with the Nasarawa and Kogi state chapters, issued a call to herald the 2023 Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Scientific conference of the NMA-FCT.
Dr. Charles Ugwuanyi, chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association-Federal Capital Territory (NMA-FCT), condemned the Federal Government’s proposal, which was made in response to the ongoing strike by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).
According to Ugwuanyi, if the government continues with the plan, it will exacerbate the perceived shortage of physicians in the healthcare sector, where the majority have already left the country.
He stated that NARD was only requesting its rights in an effort to retain the doctors who were prepared to continue working for the country.
According to him, Nigeria currently has fewer than 25,000 registered practicing physicians, and the government must find a method to encourage physicians to remain in the country.
Additionally, the NMA-FCT Chairman urged governments at all levels to consider worker safety seriously.
The association condoled the Lagos State Government over the death of a young female physician, Dr. Vwaere Diaso, who perished in a malfunctioning elevator.
“It is no coincidence that the majority of us are clad in black; we stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the NMA Lagos State Branch.
“As you are aware, the media has been filled with news of a tragic event over the past week. A young doctor, a house officer on duty, was trapped in an elevator and perished.
“We are all in mourning, and while we pray for the repose of her soul and the spirits of all the faithfully departed, we would like to convey a message.
“We at the NMA are indeed dissatisfied with the poor working conditions, which in this instance led to the demise of this young, promising star.
“We are calling on the relevant authorities, the various levels of government administering the various hospitals, to take workplace safety seriously.
“We urge all of our members across the nation to convey this message to the various levels of government,” he emphasized.
Dr. Peter Attah, chairman of the Committee of State Chairmen of the National Medical Association, also disapproved of the proposed no-work, no-pay policy, stating that such an approach would not produce any positive results, but would rather destabilize healthcare service delivery.