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The Nigeria Medical Association, Ogun State Chapter has attributed violence against health workers across the country to governments’ deceitful promises to the public and patients’ negligence of their health, among others.
The chairman of the association, Dr. Kunle Ashimi said this on Wednesday during an exclusive interview with PLATFORM TIMES .
Ashimi stayed that many Nigerians expect miracles from health workers after they had worsened their health conditions with negligence and religious extremism.
He added that patients and their relatives often attack the health workers when they do not get the immediate miracle they anticipated.
He said “the issue of violence against medical workers is burn out of the fact that many of the governments in Nigeria have told people that they are offering free health services.
“And when those people get to the hospital and expect that these healthcare services should be free and they now hear doctors prescribing drugs to them to buy, they get angry. They believe the doctors and nurses have stolen the drugs and have gone to sell them. So they get angry and attack doctors.
“And there is another aspect of our lives as Nigerians and as Africans, when people fall sick, instead of going to the hospital they either go to prayer houses or chemist shops or buy herbs and drugs from those that hawk around. That is where they will be spending money.
“These same people who say they can’t afford hospital bills, if somebody dies within that family, you will see how they will throw a big party, but, when it comes to taking care of their health, they will go to places they shouldn’t go for healthcare services.
“When things now get out of hand and they have spent all their money, they come to the hospital expecting miracles.
“And when it doesn’t happen, they get angry and start attacking the health attendants as if we will do magic to take away their illness or we are responsible for their problems. This is another major issue here.
“The expectations that they have of a miracle happening when they have messed up their cases or the expectations that they have that the healthcare in the government hospitals is free whereas it is not.
“For a hospital like the Federal Medical Center where I work, there are a lot of issues relating to the number of patients coming into our emergency. Sometimes, before noon, the whole hospital is so full and we don’t have anywhere to move people to until we discharge.
“When they now bring patients and we don’t have space, and we are trying to tell them that they may have to move to some other place for now or wait a bit while we try to see if we can make an arrangement, they get angry and start attacking our people.
“And don’t forget that these cases they are bringing as emergencies have been messed up somewhere else and the cases have become so bad.
“And when they come, they want immediate miracles. When they do not get it they start attacking our people.” He said
Ashimi urged Nigerians to take cognizance of their wellbeing.
The chairman said, “we have been doing a lot of public enlightenment through the media that there is no free healthcare and people should go to the hospital early enough before these cases get out of hand so much so that they are now expecting miracles.
“If you are a faith person, take the patient to the hospital and be praying for such a person at home or in the church or mosque while the doctor does his job.
“Doctors can not throw syringes at a patient who is at home but you can throw prayers from anywhere.
“So, a patient should be physically present with the doctor.
He, however, warned Nigerians to desist from penetrating violence against health workers, baffling that they are not magicians.
“We are also warning seriously that for anybody who attacks health workers, we will not take it likely and we will pursue the case in court.” He added
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