The Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, Enugu State Chapter has threatened an industrial action over abduction of members in the state and the need for the State Government and security agencies to emplace measures to safeguard Medical and Dental Council workers in the State.
The body raised the anxiety that about ten (10) of its members are victim to kidnap, particularly from their work places in the past two months, including the recent abduction of Dr Orockarrah Orock who was kidnapped inside the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) Ituku/Ozalla on 4th November, 2023 while on call and came.
The NMA in an Emergency General Meeting (EGM), on Wednesday, therefore resolved to closely monitor the trend; as their resolutions that include the earlier advanced protest letters may not guarantee industrial harmony in the entire Health sector of the State if reasonable progress is not made in good time.
The group, in a communiqué signed by the State Chairman of NMA, Dr Celestine Ugwoke and General Secretary, Dr Sunday Okafor, the group said that it discussed the rising and serial cases of Doctor kidnap in the State and the way forward and observed that a situation in which more than ten (10) doctors were victims of kidnapping and other violent crimes in less than 2 months is a dangerous trend unprecedented in the annals of the State.
The communiqué reads: “The EGM strongly resolved to call on the Enugu State Government to as a matter of urgency ensure that all our public hospitals are well and heavily guarded by armed security personnel and equally ensure the beefing up of the presence and operations of armed security patrol teams across the State”.
“Unanimously resolved to request the State Government to as a matter of utmost priority rejig and revamp the current security architecture of the State through adequate funding for security, installations of modern technologies and security gadgets among other innovative security measures that would speedily help bring this ugly situation to a halt.
“The EGM further resolved to mandate the management of various health institutions in the State to either ensure that Medical/Dental consultants on hospital calls are provided with decent call rooms, meals etc or in the alternative provide transportation escort for them to be able to perform their duties.”
In addition, “The EGM also resolved to unequivocally charge all health institutions in the State to as a matter of urgency set up Security Committee meeting adopt and adapt the UNTH template currently being implemented while also factoring in their peculiarities as the case may be.”
“The EGM finally resolved to notify the State Government and all other relevant quarters of authority in the State that the Association will closely monitor the trend and implementation of these resolutions including the earlier advanced protest letters and may not be able to guarantee industrial harmony in the entire Health sector of the State if reasonable progress are not made in good time.”