We won’t end strike over Ebola death - Nigerian Doctors

In spite of the imminent threat of the Ebola Virus in Lagos, striking medical doctors under the aegis of Lagos State branch of the Nigerian Medical Association, have said they will not suspend the ongoing strike .

The Chairman of the association, Dr Tope Ojo, said the ongoing strike was not called because of Ebola and could not be called off because of the threat of the viral infection in the state.

He said, “We are not on strike because of Ebola. It was never part of our demands. It wasn’t our fault.”

He, however, said the doctors would continue to partner with the state government to monitor the trend of the disease to check its spread.

Ojo, who spoke at a press briefing organised by the newly elected officials of NMA in the state, said the association regretted that his team had to take over the leadership of the association during the industrial dispute.

He blamed the ongoing crisis in the health sector on the Federal Government’s mismanagement of the sector.

He said, ” Why should a government be willing to concede the headship of the medical institutions to the hands of allied health workers?

“Will the same government not concede to a hostess the right to fly a plane or court bailiff the post of a judge or the head of a university maintenance unit to be the vice chancellor because of the so-called opportunistic explanation of team work?”

Speaking on the contentious issue of granting the prayers of other health workers to become consultants , Ojo said the decision of the government, if allowed, will only create unending anarchy.

Ojo stated, “The title of ‘ Consultant’ in medical practice is preserved exclusively for a doctor that has gone through a minimum of six years excruciating full time, postgraduate academic training.

“The patient is traditionally registered under a consultant, who owns the patient and reserves the right of success or failure in the chain of events. We therefore warn the Nigerian people of the inherent danger of this conspiracy to deceive and confuse them as they attend hospitals for their health needs.

“NMA is not against the normal professional advancement of any allied health professional. Our position is that the situation must not arise where there will be anarchy and disruption of the chain of command that is bound to jeopardise patients’ lives.”

He added that a situation, where doctors are paid N5,000.00 monthly allowance for hazard was not only laughable but unbelievable.

Ojo said,“A doctor’s life can be lost in an instance when exposed to fatal illnesses such as Ebola, Lassa fever or he may be subjected to a life-long suffering from HIV or Hepatitis B infection.”
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  1. Hippocratic Oath (Modern version)
    I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:

    I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

    I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures which are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.

    I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug.

    I will not be ashamed to say "I know not," nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient's recovery.

    I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.

    I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person's family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.

    I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

    I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.

    If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.

    Written in 1964 by Louis Lasagna, Academic Dean of the School of Medicine at Tufts University, and used in many medical schools today.



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