Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Medical doctors under the umbrella of the Commonwealth Medical Association (CMA) said they will no longer accept any physical or verbal assault on medical doctors by patients for whatever reason.
Their position followed a report of a recent physical assault on a female medical doctor (name withheld) at the Maitama District Hospital, Abuja, by relatives of a patient who passed on while under the care of the hospital.
The attack, according to CMA, took place on Thursday, last week, two days after the unfortunate demise of the patient was said to have been preceded by severe threats to the life of the female medical doctor.
CMA President, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, in a statement released in Abuja, on Tuesday, said the physical attack was one too many, making reference to other attacks on medical doctors in the past few months, particularly in Maitama District Hospital, Abuja.
He said: “This is the second case of assault of medical doctors in the same Maitama District Hospital and indeed, a total of six assaulted health workers comprising four medical doctors and two nurses, across FCT hospitals within the last six months.
“It’s particularly annoying that the latest incident took place in the presence of security personnel attached to the hospital. It involved not only the senseless beating up of the medical doctor but also the stripping of her clothes within the hospital’s premises while she was on duty.”
He said the assault greatly impinges on the autonomy of physicians, as the violence carried out by the patient’s relatives was said to have resulted from their disagreement with the physician’s clinical decision not to transfuse the late patient said to have had a severe cardiac condition.
He said: “While CMA is not currently in a position to make a declarative statement on the pre-morbid personality, character and motives of the elements behind the unholy assault on the female medical doctor, we strongly condemn the barbaric denudation of her dignity, human rights, and physician autonomy.
“As we await the outcome of ongoing investigation and prosecution of the violent act with the hope of quick dispensation of justice, we condole with the family of the late patient and pray for the repose of her soul.
“We similarly, express our deep sympathy with the assaulted female medical doctor and call for an overhaul of the security architecture of Maitama District Hospital.”
CMA called on the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) to ensure that Maitama District Hospital undertakes full rehabilitation of the female medical doctor.
It also called on the Federal, state and local governments to institute better security measures in the hospitals and workplaces to halt the despicable trend of assault of physicians and other health workers, particularly at a time Nigeria is experiencing brain drain of physicians and other health workers.