Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has appealed for more protection of doctors treating and reporting accident and gunshot injuries to police to avoid molestation and attacks by criminals.
Dr Ekpe Uche, Chairman, FCT Chapter of NMA, made the appeal while briefing newsmen at the end of the association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Sunday in Abuja.
He said that the association had instances where families of doctors who treated gunshot victims were attacked, hence the plea for more protection for such doctors.
He added that “by the time you report an armed robber to the police, other armed robbers would come back to attack the doctors family.
“ Because of this insecurity, sometimes doctors are reluctant to treat victims and report such cases to the police,’’ he said.
Uche noted that some were, however, genuine victims of accident or gunshot, while others were armed robbers.
He said that doctors took oath to save lives, adding that it was their responsibility to treat victims of gunshots and accidents, whether they were armed robbers or not.
The NMA chairman also urged government to provide more funds for the treatment of accident victims who could not afford good services.
He observed that the Federal Government was already doing something about the problem through the Basic Health Care Provision Fund of the National Health Act, 2014.
“The fund was to be disbursed to the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and the Federal Ministry of Health.
“The money meant for the Federal Ministry of Health was not just to be used to pay for the health services rendered to gunshot victims alone but accident victims in general,’’ he said.
The Nigeria News Agency recalls that the theme of the NMA AGM was “The Rising Trend of Suicide in Nigeria: A Holistic Perspective’’.
Uche said that the association had concluded plan to put in place a standard operation procedure which would be used to reduce the alarming cases of suicide in the country.
He also advocated for more functional primary healthcare centres in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).