- FG has sent a warning message to medical doctors in Nigeria
- The government told the medical doctors that rejection of patients will cost them their license
- Osagie Ehanire, the minister of health, made the disclosure on Thursday, June 11
The federal government has threatened to withdraw licenses of medical doctors who deliberately reject and turn back patients from their hospital without attending to them or offering necessary advice on what to do.
Nigerian Tribune reports that while describing it as unethical and unacceptable, the minister of health, Osagie Ehanire, on Thursday, June 11, said doctors who engage in such unprofessional conduct would be reported to the Nigeria Medical and Dental Council, and if found guilty would have their licenses withdrawn.
Legit.ng gathered that the minister gave this position, even as he raised concern over the rise in fatality rates and cases of COVID-19, saying, “although numbers are only creeping up compared to other countries and case fatality rate hovers around 3%, we are concerned and at high alert.”
Ehanire advised anyone who is rejected at any hospital or medical facility to write and complain to the board of such hospital, the federal ministry of health, or the state ministry of health in case of state hospitals.
He said: “It is unethical to reject patients who come to the hospital for treatment. I have said here repeatedly that every person who comes to the hospital must be seen and attended to and at least, be given advice on what to do.
“If you can’t do it, advise him on where to go or call transport for him; but to just say go, we don’t handle that is not ethical, and it is not acceptable. So, if that happens anywhere, you have the authority to write to the board of that hospital and lay complain. Or you can also write to the ministry of health, or you can write to the state ministry of health if it is a state-owned hospital.
“If it is a private hospital, you can write to the medical director or if they have a management board, you can write there to express yourself. This is very important.
“So, we do receive cases or complaints like that and we have always followed them up and in cases where it is proven that there is an infringement on the duties of the Doctor it is referred to the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria and it is well known that they have gone to as far as withdrawing licenses of doctors for cases of very serious medical misbehaviour.”
The minister pointed out that 61% of COVID-19 patients in the country were Asymptomatic, while 39% were symptomatic.
According to him, “In Nigeria, the proportion of confirmed cases that are symptomatic compared to asymptomatic is 39% and 61% respectively, which means that if 10 persons are able to infect you with COVID19, four of them will look very well indeed. Another three or four will have mild symptoms that can be trivialized, even by healthcare workers, which may explain the initial relatively high rate of infection among them.
On the issue of resident doctors who have threatened to embark on strike, Ehanire explained that the federal ministry of labour and employment, the federal ministry of health and the speaker of the House of Representatives; have been engaging the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to address issues raised by the young doctors.
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The minister said: “We also had a conversation with the Ministry of Finance, Agencies and health-related associations, which addressed issues of welfare and allowances to frontline health workers. Complaints on availability of PPE’s have been addressed with the supply of materials to States, and separately to Federal Medical Centers.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the ministry of health, in a tweet on Thursday, June 11, said security operatives would be authorised to enforce the new rules where necessary.
It was reported that the federal government ordered the reopening of the worship centres nationwide effective from Monday, June 1.
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