It’s embarrassing for FG to invite Chinese doctors to fight COVID-19, says NMA

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has tackled the federal government’s decision to invite medical doctors from China to Nigeria to support the country’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Recall that Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, recently announced federal government’s plan to invite Chinese medical team to the country as part of measures to intensify fight against the novel disease.

But speaking in a statement signed by its president, Francis Faduyile, the NMA described the move as an insult to Nigerian medical workers who have defied the odds in the system to fight pandemic in the country.

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The statement read: “It is a thing of embarrassment to the membership of the Association and other health workers who are giving their best in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic under deplorable working conditions, and a fragile health system to be subjected to the ignominy of not being carried along in arriving at such a decision.

“The lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), grossly inadequate test kits, and test centres across the country, and the absolute lack of any form of insurance for the workforce are primordial issues begging for attention at this time.

“We are therefore profoundly dismayed to learn that the Federal Government is instead inviting the Chinese who from available accounts are not out of the woods themselves. The spike in cases and the death toll from COVID-19 in Italy coincided with the arrival of the Chinese in the guise of offering assistance. Even the United Nations has only just recently commended the efforts of Nigeria so far.

It explained the decision was a violation of the extant laws regulating the practice of medicine in Nigeria in line with the requirements of the Medical and Dental Council Act, which states that the council “should be consulted to grant necessary approvals to foreigners to interact with Nigerian patients.

The association, however, commended several health workers in the country, who have been working through thick and thin to combat the virus adding it “expects the Government to show appreciation by channelling the available resources and donations to improving testing facilities to detect more cases and ramp up capacity to train more workers”.

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