The Meeting With The Nigerian Medical Association


The meeting started in earnest at about 11:20am having waited for the arrival of the President and the members of his team. The NMA president met the CRH team led by the ED already seated in the conference room.

The President who in exchange of pleasantries introduced himself as Dr. Mike. Ozovehe Ogirima  as well as the Secretary  General of the Association Dr. Yusuf Tanko Sununu  and the Administrative Officer Akpa Emeka, which was followed by the introduction of  the CRH ED and her crew members.

The ED in her opening remark laid the background by giving a brief history of the organization as well as spelling out the main purpose of the visit. She narrated the fate she suffered as well as that of close relatives and staff as a result of the negligence, impunity and lack of accountability in our health care system, whereas it costs nothing to report dissatisfaction of service received by patients who could seek redress but for the ignorance of patients’ right.

Stressing further, she said mistakes, carelessness and callousness has remained the attitude of the health caregivers in Nigeria. Daily occurrences of countless number of cases of violation of patients’ rights in our health care system without any redress informed the move to institute the advocacy for the fight. CRH is therefore demanding the collaborative efforts of the NMA to ensure a mechanism is built in such a way that the health system can question itself and the patients can question the health care system and demand for their rights when trampled upon.

Disclosing to the NMA team, the ED stated that the Center has embarked on a project that would climax in premièring a 30 minutes video documentary of compelling stories of horrible experiences collected from different patients who wish to share such stories. She therefore urged the association to team up with the CRH team to chart a course through which health issues can be redressed as other notable bodies such as Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, Nigerian Legal Council, National Human Right Commission, National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives etc are already in the band wagon.

President of the association reacting to the ED’s submission pledged the support of the NMA and commended the efforts of the organization which according to him was laudable and would be recourse to facilitating the National Health Act which hitherto a vast majority of the health care users are ignorant of. He further spoke about reviving the lost passion in the new generation of health practitioners because the decay cuts across all categories  of health workers be they nurses, doctors, laboratory scientists etc.

The Secretary General of the NMA taking the issue from the angle of the tussle for supremacy among the various categories of health workers in our health system which has not helped matters in any way whatsoever and that it could be addressed if a common ground could be created where violated patients’ rights can be challenged for sanity to be restored.

On a closing note, the ED requested to know if there was any existing forum that brings all the health professionals heads under one umbrella. The NMA president responded by saying such forum is in progress. The ED also requested for a member of the NMA to represent the association in the CRH vanguard that championing the fight against the violation of patients’ rights in our health system.  At this juncture the ED requested the president to lend his voice to the video documentary project which brought the discourse session to a close and the interview with the president session commenced.

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