NMA urges FG to increase health budget to halt mass exodus of doctors

Chairman of Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Nasarawa State Chapter, Dr.Sabo Emmanuel Ombugadu

BY RICHARD ABU, Nasarawa –

The Chairman of Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Nasarawa State Chapter, Dr.Sabo Emmanuel Ombugadu has appealed to the federal government to increase budgetary allocation to the health sector as a deliberate way of preventing doctors from seeking for greener pastures abroad.

Dr. Ombugadu made the appeal today during an interview with our correspondent in his office at the Federal Medical Center, Keffi, Nasarawa State.

He decried the poor treatment of medical doctors by the government while attributing the mass exodus of doctors to the foreign land to lack of care emanating from inadequate budgetary allocation to the health sector.

The NMA chairman explained that doctors working with state government are paid meagre salaries and allowances.

He said: “The high inflation in the country, where a dollar is exchanged for over seven hundred naira has made life difficult for the medical doctors. Some of them are equally intending to leave for places like Saudi Arabia or the United kingdom where Nigerian Doctors are in high demand”.

Dr. Ombugadu, who is rounding up his tenure in office, promised to organize a free and transparent election to usher in a new executives that will pilot the affairs of the union in the next couple of years.

He expressed satisfaction that he will be leaving the union more united than he meet it when there was sharp division between doctors operating at the state headquarters in Lafia who usually look down on those working in Akwanga and Keffi but has been able to reconcile such differences.

Narrating his experience in office, the chairman described it as difficult most especially when dealing with highly educated people.

He thanked Almighty God for seen him through and listed some of his achievements to include the building of the unions secretariat complex to roofing level and the refurbishing of the union Sienna bus as well as the provision of care to retired doctors.

Other achievements listed by the chairman include – the dialogue between his exco and the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State, Engineer Abdulahi Sule, who has given promotion to doctors from 2014 to 2017.

He also stated that through his untiring efforts, they were able to organize a medical outreach at Doma LGA, where over 270 surgeries were carried out in seven days involving more than fifty doctors. He also added that many eye glasses were given to over 750 people free of charge.

The NMA chairman added that apart from tooth polishing and extraction, COVID-19 vaccines and HIV drugs were given to people of Doma LGa.

He however commended the wife of Executive Secretary of the National Primary Health Care Agency (NPHCA), Hajiya Mariam Shuaibu for supporting them in that regard.

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