The Nasarawa State chapter of Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has rejected the state government’s directive that doctors working in government establishments should desist from engaging in private practice or face sanctions.
Dr Sabo Emmanuel, the state NMA Chairman, conveyed the association’s position on the government directive at a news briefing on Wednesday in Lafia.
Regent Times recalls that the Nasarawa State Government recently gave a directive outlawing private medical practice by doctors working in the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the state government.
Emmanuel stressed that the directive was not acceptable by the association because its members were not using official hours for private practice.
“Our members working with the state-owned health facilities are guided by the civil service rules and were never found wanting for compromising their official duties for private engagements.
“Civil service rules do not prevent doctors from establishing or engaging in private life after office hours,” he added.
Besides, Emmanuel said that the association was not consulted on the issue before the government made the pronouncement through the news media.
He noted that private health facilities had been playing vital roles in the nation’s health care delivery programme by complementing public health facilities, saying that the situation was not peculiar to Nasarawa State alone.
He, however, said that the association would engage the state government on the issue so as to find a common ground and avoid any industrial disharmony.
On the ongoing efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic, Emmanuel said that more than 150 health care workers had contracted the virus in the state.
He, however, commended Gov. Abdullahi Sule for the payment of COVID-19 allowances to health care workers.
He noted that the governor was among the first governors to pay the COVID-19 allowances in the country.
He added that the governor had also procured a lot of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) for the health care workers battling the virus.