The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has berated the government of Abia State for not paying doctors and health workers their salaries and allowances for 24 months.
The association made the condemnation yesterday at a press conference after the closure of its 2022 National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held at Gombe International Hotel, Gombe State.
National president of the association Dr Uche Roland Ojinmah who addressed the press conference said they are disappointed over the failure of the government of Abia State to pay their members salaries and allowances in the state pointing out that doctors are essential workers in the society who should be motivated to work.
Ojinmah also lamented the poor salaries received by health workers nationwide, claiming that the last time their salaries was reviewed was in 2009.
Ojinmah said many doctors leave out of Nigeria to other countries as a result of the poor remunerations thereby causing shortage of manpower in the nation’s health facilities.
Apart from that, he decried the lack of working equipment, conducive environment and inadequate doctors in the country pointing out that they are overstretched.
“Health workers are already being overstretched with serious distortion in the already worst Doctor-Patient ratio of 1 doctor per 5, 000 patients in Nigeria as against the World Health Organization recommendation of 1 doctor per 600 patients. The shortage of doctors is currently driving the epidemic of physicians’ burnout in Nigeria.
“The NEC also notes the negative effects of physician burnout in all aspects of medical care including lower patients satisfaction and care quality. We expressed dismay for the government’s inability to address the push factors driving brain drain which are mass exodus of doctors and other health workers in search of greener pastures.
“NEC reiterates that unless something drastic is done by the government to address the problem of brain drain, the already worst health indices may eventually spiral out of control. It should also be noted that the rapid population growth and resulting encroachment into wilderness by humans, globalization, extensive resistance to drugs by microorganisms and climate change are the key factors responsible for emerging and re-emerging disease outbreaks,” he stated.