Dr Roland Aigbovo, the President, Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCDA), has expressed concern over rising spate of assaults on members of the association in parts of the country.
Aigbovo said in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Abuja that the assaults on medical personnel while on legitimate duty was becoming alarming and worrisome.
He noted that whereas doctors and other health workers merely carryout essential duties for the overall well-being of their patients and clients, the ARD president however regretted that these patients had become hostile to the health officials without cause.
According to him, there had been some incidences recently where doctors on duty were assaulted with the most recent incident recorded at Maitama District Hospital, Abuja.
Aigbovo said: “A female medical doctor (name withheld) at the Maitama District Hospital, Abuja, was assaulted by a patient’s relation.’’
He said that the patient was admitted as an emergency case few days earlier and was operated upon to save her life and that of her baby.
He explained that due to financial constraints, the patient was unable to pay for the surgery and purchase prescribed drugs, which led to some minor complications that needed urgent medical treatment.
“But the patient’s relation insisted in taking the patient home which prompted the Doctor to ask him to sign a medical undertaking before his request is granted, but he refused.
“This led to the doctor informing the security unit, the partner got infuriated and then beat up both the doctor and the security personnel.”
Aigbovo however said that patient’s relation was arrested, taken to court and remanded in prison.
He said the association would do everything possible to prosecute anybody who assaulted its members, adding that it is disheartening that any normal person could beat up a female doctor.
He said that such case would be pursued to its logical conclusion to serve as a deterrent to others who might want to toe such line of assaulting its members while on duty.
He said “doctors and other health professionals should be respected and not assaulted no matter the provocation”.
Aigbovo said that there were laid down channels for dispute resolutions rather than physically assaulting health personnel.