Health workers express concern about patients’ relatives attitudes

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The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in Plateau has expressed concern about the alleged unbecoming attitudes of the relatives of some patients against health workers in various health insitutions.

Dr Bapiga’an Audu, the association’s chairman, noted in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos on Tuesday that the attitudes could further encourage doctors and health workers to leave services for alternative jobs abroad.

“The  act of attacking health workers is grossly condemnable; no health worker is to be attacked for engaging legitimately in their means of subsistence,” he said.

He called on the law enforcement agencies to do their jobs, “as the National Health Act of 2014 has a provision on the security of health personnel.

“When there are issues of attacks and harassment, the laws enforcement agencies should swing into action and arrest the culprits to serve as a deterrent to others who might want to engange in such acts”.

Audu also called on the government to, as a matter of urgency, improve the working conditions of health workers.

He also said that the situation in which some hospitals, especially general hospitals, would have just one doctor attending to all patients could be worrisome.

He called on stakeholders to address the situation immediately, while hospitals without perimeter fencing should be fenced for adequate security.

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Similarly, the Chairman of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Jos University Teaching Hospital branch, Mrs Victoria Samson, said that the some attitudes against some health personnel whenever things seemed to go wrong, were “unfortunate”.

Samson called on the government to secure its workers as the Health Act of 2014, states that it ought to be the responsibility of the government to secure its workers at work.

“Most health workers are harassed in their places of work by the relatives of those whose the health personnel are treating.

“The government should ensure that the lives of the health workers are secured and insured in the event of attacks or sicknesses that they may contract during the cause of discharging their duties,” she said.

According to her, government must prioritise the security to insure the lives of the health personnel to boost their productivity and discourage brain-drain.(NAN)

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