ELEVATOR TRAGEDY: Critical gaps in Nigeria’s healthcare infrastructure — NMA

The Lagos State Chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, on Monday, said the passing of Dr. Vwaere Diaso has highlighted the critical gaps in the healthcare infrastructure that require immediate attention and overhaul.

The medical doctors  queried the findings of the state government’s investigative panel, even as they noted that the young doctor’s avoidable death serves as an immediate and very clear call to action for the Nigerian government to recomit to the advancement of healthcare in Nigeria.

Stating that the well-being of doctors and by extension other healthcare professionals directly impacts the quality of care they provide to the citizens, the NMA stated that accountability is a fundamental principle of good governance, which applies not only in politics but also across all sectors, including healthcare.

They lamented that the unfortunate incident surrounding Dr. Diaso’s passing serves as a stark reminder that Nigeria should prioritise accountability at every level of the country’s life, especially in the healthcare system.

Making these assertions during a press conference in Lagos, the State Chairman of the NMA,  Dr Benjamin Olowojebutu acknowledged the investigative panel of the Lagos State government’s preliminary findings and actions taken, adding that the NMA Lagos has also constituted her own independent Investigative Panel comprising its members, the Nigeria Bar Association, Lagos Branch, and the Nigeria Society of Engineers.

 “By holding those responsible accountable, we will send a powerful message that the lives of our medical professionals are invaluable and their safety must be given utmost priority.”

He said: “We have seen and read news reports about the Lagos State government’s probe panel. For us, there are certain pertinent questions that must be answered with full accountability.  Who were our colleagues writing their complaints about the state of affairs and living conditions in the Doctors’ Quarters to?  How seriously were those requests taken? 

“The facility managers before they got paid, who signed off their docket to approve the present state of things?  Who signs off an uncertified contractor to buy a dysfunctional lift for a building that houses over 100 medical doctors? 

Who gave the doctors an accommodation that can be described as squalid and unhabitable? These are questions begging for answers and we are certain that the NMA’s panel will help unearth and provide answers.”

He called on the general public with useful information about the incident to contact them on their social media handles and email-  nmalagos.secretariat@gmail.com

On the ongoing NARD strike, he condemned the “no work, no pay” policy imposed by the Federal Government, describing it as a vindictive, unfair and inhumane.

“It is crucial for all parties involved to engage in transparent and constructive discussions to identify common ground and address the concerns that have prompted this strike.

“It is crucial that we conduct a thorough examination of our emergency response protocols, allocate sufficient funding to healthcare facilities, and make investments in essential medical equipment and supplies.

By providing our doctors with the necessary resources, we can ensure that they are equipped to deliver effective care in the face of unforeseen challenges,” he added.

“We applaud the unwavering determination and unwavering commitment of our doctors and strongly urge the government to fulfil its pledge of meeting their demands. These demands include the implementation of the one-for-one replacement policy for healthcare workers, improved salary structures, hazard allowances, and a revitalized residency training programmed. NMA Lagos stands with NARD on this.


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