(By Tony John – PORT HARCOURT)
Medical doctors in Rivers State have decried insecurity and under funding as the serious challenges affecting their jobs, thereby affecting optimal healthcare service delivery.
The doctors under the aegis of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), disclosed this yesterday, at the opening ceremony of its 2016 Physicians’ Week, in Port Harcourt.
In his opening remark, the State Chairman of NMA, Dr. Datonye Alasia, noted that insecurity in the state, as in other states, had affected the operations of medical doctors to deliver health care services to the public.
Alasia expressed worried that, sometimes, healthcare facilities had been attacked by hoodlums and doctors kidnapped, stressing that such acts endangered healthcare service delivery.
He stated that the refusal of the government to implement the National Health Act (NHA) which was enacted in 2014, has caused setback to the sector, adding that the Act would improve the health sector if implemented.
“For the first time, we had a law that created a framework for the funding and structure for the health care system and the rights of citizens,” Alasia said. “Sadly, since 2014 the key provisions that dealt with funding and financing of health care have not been given attention. We want the government to give attention to it.”
“There is the issue of insecurity in the state and some other parts of the country. Health care facilities and doctors are attacked on daily basis. There is also the issue of remuneration. Some doctors are not been paid and you don’t expect them to.
“There is human resource gap and it is a big issue. There should be proper funding for healthcare in the state and the country, so that our challenges can be surmounted”, he stated.
This year’s theme is ‘Healthcare in a frail Economy: Challenges and Way Forward’.