COVID-19: NMA cries against lack of doctors in Kaduna

by Amara Christa

The Nigerian Medical Association, Kaduna state chapter, has lamented that about 200 medical doctors in the payroll of the state government are grossly inadequate to man its 33 general and rural hospitals and supervise the 255 primary healthcare centres.

The association noted that the state is currently the least among other North-Western states in terms of health workers renunciation thereby causing frequent migration of health workers from the state.

Addressing newsmen in Kaduna Wednesday on the COVID-19 pandemic, the state of the healthcare delivery in Kaduna State, and the strike action embarked upon by the Association of Resident Doctors, the state NMA Chairman, Dr Stephen Kachi Akau said, “it is worthy of note that at the beginning of this struggle in 2017, Kaduna State government hospitals had over 400 doctors but today, there are little over 200 doctors to man 33 general and rural hospitals and supervise the 255 primary healthcare centres across the state.

“This is despite the fact that several employments and replacement of doctors was done during the period under review. How does the state wants to attract and retain experienced hands when an entry-level medical doctor in the surrounding states and federal institutions earn much higher than a senior medical officer in Kaduna who had put in at least eight years of service?”

The NMA regretted that while Kaduna state still drags its foot on the implementation of the CONMESS salary scale for doctors, their counterparts in the northwest have for over three years have been enjoying thereby earning higher than doctors in the state.

On the ongoing strike by Association of Resident Doctors in the state, Dr Stephen Kachi said, “As it stands, the Nigerian Medical Association, Kaduna state is now constrained to take the stand of unequivocally identifying with its members in the Association of Resident Doctors who are currently being threatened, albeit unjustifiable.”

He called on the state government to expedite action and approve the corrected CONMESS for the doctors in the state to at least bring them at par with their colleagues in the surrounding states.

“We are shocked at the ongoing threats of sack being peddled against our members who are on a legitimate strike and state categorically that this will only worsen the situation,” NMA warned.

The association added, “We, therefore, call on the state government to rather invest it’s time and efforts in coming up with a realistic proposal for constructive engagements targeted at addressing the injustice being meted on the doctors and the embarrassing poor remuneration being paid to doctors in Kaduna state.”

On the issue of COVID-19, NMA called on the federal government to immediately restrict entrance of travellers from high and medium risk countries, “We call on Kaduna State government to step surveillance system, make every equipment available and ensure adequate equipment at the isolation centres,” the association advised.

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