The Oasis Reporters
August 22, 2017
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) that was banned by then Major General Muhammadu Buhari as military head of State in 1984 has found it’s voice again to admonish the same Buhari now a civilian leader, with a self righteous moral tone, that Nigerian doctors could treat the president if the working conditions were provided adding that it’s members are capable of handling any ailment.
In a communique issued after a National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Kaduna, Mike Ogirima and Yusuf Tanko Sununu, President and Secretary of the association, advised President Muhammadu Buhari to replicate in Nigeria what he saw in the London hospital where he was treated.
They group expressed dismay with the continuous low budgetary allocation to the health sector and called on the Federal Government to implement the Abuja Declaration of at least 15 percent budgetary allocation to health and ensure timely release of funds.
“The nature of the president’s ailment is not known to NMA, and even if it is known to us, we have to respect our oath of secrecy,” they said.
“The president like every other citizen of this country has the right to seek second opinion, that is part of medical practice. However, the doctors in Nigeria are capable of handling any ailment if optimal working conditions are provided.
“We have read and heard on BBC that, the president does not believe in the Nigerian health system. What was wrong with the President going outside? It is a fact that our hospitals are not optimally equipped.
“I am sure that the president after spending 100 days in London has the first-hand experience of what we have been shouting, equip! Equip! Upgrade our hospitals.
“We are happy that the president is back. Based on his experience, we are saying he should come and replicate what he has seen in London, at least to take care of the masses. So, we expect him to replicate such within the next two years.
“The NEC observed with dismay the continuous low budgetary allocation to health leading to declining health care service delivery in the country.”
Indeed, the NMA whose ban in 1984 triggered the first wave of exile for medical personnel from Nigeria to the Western and Arabian world when they asked that Mr. Muhammadu Buhari turn ” the mere consulting clinics” into functional hospitals are still saying the same thing to the same man. But now the retired General lacks the voice or the indignation to bark and threaten them again.
After all, when prominent Nigerians go abroad, they meet by chance, over 25,000 Nigerian doctors in the US alone. Other countries like the United Kingdom, Germany, Saudi Arabia etc, all have Nigerian doctors in significant numbers practicing in diverse destinations.
A Nigerian, Olakunle Akinboboye, MD, has been appointed as chair of the ABIM Cardiovascular Board by The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) making it the first time the body would have a black Chair of the Cardiovascular Disease Board.
Dr. Akinboboye was at the University Teaching Hospital, where he trained before emigrating to the United States of America.
Lack of equipment and the right atmosphere made many doctors leave Nigeria to seek greener pastures abroad.