The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, has decried the unfortunate trend of assault on healthcare workers across the country, especially against medical and dental practitioners.
The medical body allege that such assaults often happen in the line of duty, a situation it laments could generate apathy towards responding to medical emergencies by health personnel if not checked.
President of the association Dr. Francis Faduyile in a statement sent to DAILY POST, also accused security agencies of complicity in the trend of violence against health workers.
“With several cases of violence already reported, the NMA says it is worried by the apparent silence of security agencies on the plight of its members.
”More worrisome is the fact that the security agents who have the responsibility to protect Nigerians including medical and dental practitioners in this cruelty are primary assaulters, and co-offenders.
”The FCT and healthcare institutions are where this barbaric act has assumed alarming proportions, we also note with displeasure the disposition of relevant authorities including the management of healthcare institutions in cases where victims (healthcare workers) summon courage to seek justice”.
The medical body has now warned perpetrators to desist from violently attacking health workers as provisions of the National Health Act of 2014 on assault, whether verbal or physical, are not ambiguous to pursue.
”Relevant laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria prohibits assault and molestation of any form. It is a criminal offence to assault any Nigerian including healthcare workers, more so in the line of duty as is the case of medical and dental practitioners”
The NMA further appealed to the federal government and the inspector general of police to immediately put in place genuine security measures to end the unacceptable rise in cases of assault on the entire health workforce.
The association has also directed its members and affiliates to ensure perpetrators of violence against them are duly reported and prosecuted.