Rivers State wing of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, has called on both the Federal and state governments to improve on the overall budgetary allocation to the health sector, to sustain significant gains and meet basic obligations
Making the call yesterday in Port Harcourt, was the state chairman of the Association Dr. Furo Green in his welcome address on the occasion of the flag off the 2015 Physicians’ week ceremony, saying the demand was in line with the Abuja declaration of 2001.
Dr Green at the event which its theme was ‘Disease Eradication in Nigeria, the Polio Success Story, and Prospects for Measles Eradication’, demanded the NEW Rivers Vision to include the political will to; improve the welfare of doctors and other health workers, encourage much needed capacity development, fulfill indebted promises and actualize legitimate remuneration. Other demands included extension of justice to their younger colleagues and implementation of retirement age at 65.
The NMMA chairman assured that as stakeholders in the health care delivery system, they would continue to demonstrate leadership and commitment in the interest and wellbeing of Rivers people, because according to him, “a health people make a healthy and wealthy nation”
According to Rivers NMA, “our national body has critically evaluated the success in polio eradication, which has as well triggered off optimism to the fact that, with synergy of efforts by the Non Governmental Organizations NGOs, private sector and government at all levels; measles eradication is achievable, thus saving lives and scare resources.”
It appealed for the understanding and cooperation of traditional rulers , religious leaders, leaders of thought, proprietors of schools, orphanage homes, leaders of market unions and market women associations, parents and guardians, to join the advocacy train and ensure that every infant around them is immunized. “Immunization against measles and other diseases are available, free of charge.”
The Rivers NMA chairman also expressed regrets over plight of people in Orashi region who have been dislodged by the predicted flooding, and called on government, private sector, NGOs and private citizens to help ease their burden, soliciting head-on tackling of the gruesome environmental challenge.
On the issue of the much touted free medical checkup by the immediate past administration, he said free medication was not feasible anywhere in the world, disclosed, its failure was due to non-provision of relevant logistics. He regretted a situation a medical doctor would be posted to a rural medical centre, expected to work for 24hours a week and per-annum, and called for a review.
On the case of treating a bullet wound victim the chairman noted that at the last visit of the Inspector General of Police IGP, he affirmed the doctors could treat them, but later report the incident to the police.
The Physicians’ week is an annual event that holds worldwide at different times and at different countries, but in Nigeria, it usually holds during the last week of every October with the objectives; to appreciate citizens for the respect they command for their lives, and to assure them that their confidence is not misplaced. Others were to review their commitment to the oath and rededicate themselves to the service of humanity, spotlight contemporary health issues and proffer realistic solutions, among others.

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