The Nigerian Medical Association has suspended twelve of its members for professional misconduct in flaunting its constitutional provisions that prohibit members from taking to the court rather than explore internal mechanisms for dispute resolution.
The National President of the Association, Prof. Mike Ozovehe Ogirima, who made the disclosure while reading the communiqué issued at the end of the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Lokoja, Kogi State, said affected the members have the liberty to appeal their suspension internally.
Ogirima: “We suspend our members based on constitutional provisions. We have internal mechanisms for disciplining ourselves and if any member has not explored all avenues to resolve issues and jumped to the court of law the constitution stipulates their suspension so that they have more time to prosecute and follow up their cases that is the provision we have just evoked on them.
“This is not the first time NMA is taking that measure. However they have an opportunity for an appeal internally to the Annual Delegate Meeting if they are not satisfied with the action taken by NEC.”
Those suspended indefinitely include: Dr. Moses Oriasotie from Edo; Dr. Amoti Earnest (Edo); Dr. Atiola Olayinka (Lagos State); Dr. Adegbaju Dapo (Lagos State); Dr. Olubinmi Omojowolo (Lagos State); Dr. Alabi Babatunde Musbau (Lagos State); and Dr. Sekunmade Alade Abeni (Lagos State).
Others are: Dr. Uwaje Kenneth Nnamoi (Lagos State); Dr. Abiloye Kemi (Lagos State); Dr. Ayodeji Olaniyi; and Dr. Balogun Babatunde all from Lagos State.
The President also declared the position of NEC on the immediate past chairman of Lagos State/Zone of NMA who has been sent to the NMA national disciplinary committee.
“NEC also authorises the President and any other aggrieved members to seek redress with the MDCN who should look urgently into cases of professional misconducts that is very rampant in the profession in accordance with the code of medical ethics.”
According to him, the NMA while seeking legal redress along with her partners in the court of law it calls for the immediate operation alizarin of the National Health Act 2014 (NHAct 2014).
Ogirima explained that NHAct 2014 is a law of the land for which 10 years before it was enacted was a bill sponsored by members of the Association and health workers were called to contribute to it at an open hearing.
“The Act seeks to redress most of the problems we are having in the health sector pertaining to the availability of infrastructure, the care for emergencies on our roads, the care for the under privileged in our society; the aged, infants below five years, pregnant mothers and accident victims on our roads.”
“There is a provision in that act that says that at least one per cent of consolidated revenue of our country should be set aside as basic health fund.”
For postgraduate medical training to succeed in achieving better health outcomes for citizens, the President urged government to accord the training top priority.
He called for increased funding of medical postgraduate training and support for the ongoing effort by the House of Representatives to amend the Act establishing Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) to include tertiary health institutions involved in training and research among the beneficiaries of the fund.