By G9ija

Body strikes in Nasarawa, patients lament lack of medical services

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) yesterday demanded public apology from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over arrest and detention of Chairman Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC) of Enugu State University Teaching Hospital (ESUT), Dr. Ogechukwu Amadi.

Amadi was arrested last Friday for allegedly withholding information on a medical report the hospital issued to a suspect, who evaded court sessions on the strength of the medical reports.

It was, however, discovered that the purported medical reports were forged and never emanated from the hospital, but bore its address and had no authority of any of its doctors.

This prompted the EFCC to write the hospital’s management seeking verification and authentication of the medical reports.

It was learnt that EFCC’s letter was sent to the hospital mid March.

But having waited for response on the reports to no avail, armed operatives of EFCC stormed the hospital about 5.00pm on Friday and arrested Amadi for ‘withholding information’ by not responding to inquiries on the suspect.

Condemning the development at a media briefing, Enugu State Chairman of NMA, Dr. Ikechukwu Okwesili, said it was disheartening and sad, stressing that the Federal Government had addressed issues of medical reports through the Ministry of Health by the approval of doctor’s stamp.

“We gave all the explanations to assist in their work, yet they arrested her under serious intimidation. We need public apology on this and steps taken to remedy the situation,” he said.

Besides, the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN), ESUT Teaching Hospital, has expressed displeasure over forgery of its documents by individuals and purporting same to emanate from its doctors.

In a statement issued by its chairman, Ohayi Robsam and Secretary, Uchenna Ekwochi, the group condemned the manner in which the hospital was invaded after work hours for alleged demand of verification and asked for refrain.

Meanwhile, as the strike engaged upon by NMA in Nasarawa State enters its second day, patients in government hospitals have continued to lament withdrawal of medical services by medical doctors.

A visit to the Dalhatu Arafat Specialist Hospital in Lafia, revealed that some patients have started moving out of the facility because there are no doctors to respond to them.

Some of the patients who spoke to The Guardian pleaded for state government’s speedy intervention to enable the doctors to return to work, while others appealed that the striking doctors consider their plight and call off the strike.

State Chairman of NMA, Dr. Bulus Umaru, said the association had appealed to the state government to fulfill its promises to boost the doctors’ morale and create an enabling environment for effective service.

Responding, Commissioner for Health, Dr. Roselin Kela, appealed to the doctors to exercise patience, noting that government’s focus was now on the transition programme.