The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), on Wednesday, lamented the maltreatment of its members on essential duties by security personnel and has directed doctors to leave all official duty and close when it is exactly 4 pm daily.
The directive, according to the President of NMA, Dr Francis Faduyile, is to stop the doctors from working late and reduce the embarrassment they face in the process of carrying out their lawful duties.
“That with effect from today, Wednesday, May 20th 2020, all medical and dental practitioners should henceforth work between the hours of 8.00 am and 4.00 pm, to give enough time for them to return back home,” the NMA president said.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Dr Faduyile said: “The NMA observed with dismay the pains and anguish foisted on our members returning from and going to work on Tuesday 19th May night by security operatives who arrested and detained them in the name of implementing the lockdown curfew. This to us is not in line with the directives given by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and hence is unacceptable.
“Based on the foregoing, notice is hereby given to all Medical and Dental practitioners that since the security operatives have unilaterally withdrawn the exemption given to us by Mr President as essential service providers as seen in some States and the FCT, I wish to state as follows:
“That with effect from today, Wednesday, May 20th 2020, all medical and dental practitioners should henceforth work between the hours of 8.00 am and 4.00 pm, to give enough time for them to return back home.
“This measure is to stop our members from working late and mitigate the embarrassment to our members in the process of carrying out their lawful duties.
“Further update will be communicated to members when this unfortunate directive from the Inspector General of Police is reversed.”
Reacting to the position of NMA, the Minister of Labour, Sen Chris Ngige, said as, at Wednesday, the Inspector General of Police has given a directive to all his personnel across the country to allow doctors and others on essential services passage to do their jobs.
He told newsmen in a telephone conversation that he had contacted the IGP on the issue and the IGP, in turn, has also directed his personnel, so the NMA directive to its members is no longer subsisting.
He advised the NMA and the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) to give a counter directive to their members to go about their business and do their job as expected.
Ngige further explained that the government had planned to lead the leadership of both the NMA and NANNM to Lagos on Wednesday to meet with their members on the frontline of COVID-19 treatment, but the trip could not take place as planned.
The minister, however, stated that the leadership of NMA and NANNM could be going to Lagos on Thursday to witness how their member on the frontline of COVID-19 pandemic are helping the country.