The Kaduna State chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has decried the lack of doctors in the state amid the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus also known as COVID-19 which has spread across the globe.
This was revealed on Wednesday by the state NMA Chairman, Dr Stephen Kachi Akau, who lamented that about 200 medical doctors on the payroll of the state government are grossly inadequate to man its 33 general and rural hospitals and supervise the 255 primary healthcare centres in the state.
Dr Akau who stated that much while addressing newsmen in Kaduna, also said that the state is currently the least among other North-Western states in terms of health workers renunciation which has caused frequent migration of doctors to other states in the country.
He 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 want 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?”
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While reacting to the on the ongoing strike by Association of Resident Doctors in the state, Dr Akau 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”.
This comes a day after the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Abuja chapter embarked on an indefinite strike the over anxiety and the fear of the spread of the deadly coronavirus also known as COVID-19.
This declaration was made in Abuja, the nation’s capital, on Tuesday by ARD President, Roland Aigbovo, who said that the decision was reached after extensive deliberation on the health threat posed by the coronavirus scare, their work conditions, and patient care.
Aigbovo also lamented that doctors were in financial distress as the FCT Administration had failed to pay them basic salaries for more than two months while stating further that repeated warnings and ultimatum have failed to yield positive results.