As the working conditions for workers in the country becomes more dire, Nigerian doctors continue to resign their appointments and flee abroad in droves amidst a dearth of medical professionals in the country.
The recent news from Kogi state where the Chairman of the state chapter of Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Kabiru Zubair, revealed that 79 medical doctors employed by the state government have resigned their appointments is not too appealing.
Dr. Zubair revealed that the doctors stated irregular payment of salaries as the reason for abandoning their posts.
The NMA chairman used the occasion to acknowledge that doctors who had been the champions of the struggle for better welfare for health workers in Kogi state, have lost the zeal to fight due to the non-challant attitude of the state government led by Yahya Bello; saying further that the only option left to the doctors was to leave the employ of the state civil service.
“As at today, a total of 79 doctors have left Kogi State civil service. In the last nine months alone, 27 doctors have resigned from the Kogi State Specialist Hospital (KSSH), Lokoja, including two consultants.
Forty four have resigned from the state’s Hospitals Management Board (HMB) and eight from the Kogi State University Teaching Hospital, Anyigba.
More doctors are just waiting for the next available opportunity to leave. The consequences are worsening healthcare indices in the state.
The vacuum created will ultimately be filled by medical quacks to the detriment of our people and no level of policing can stop it,” he said.
Narrating on efforts to improve conditions of service in the state health sector, Dr. Kabiru noted that the Kogi NMA had threatened and embarked on several industrial actions in the last one year to force the state government to pay attention to the health sector in the state all to no avail.
“Even though NMA has dropped the idea of plunging the Kogi health sector into another round of industrial action, NMA is not happy that the government has not reciprocated the gesture by ensuring the regular payment of the salaries of doctors and other healthcare workers in the state.
We call on the state government to prioritise the payment of doctors and other healthcare workers to abate the current low morale and untold hardship in the health work force.”
The NMA chairman however threatened that its members would withdraw their support for and campaign against any government that refuses to prioritize the health care of the state citizens. This was a subtle shade to the state governor Yahaya Bello who is seeking a second term in office.