Dr. Bukola Saraki, a former president of the Senate, has expressed disbelief at the information that Nigerian doctors put in a 100-hour work week.
When representatives of the National Association of Resident Doctors, or NARD, paid him a visit on Saturday after their strike had been suspended, he made the comment.
According to the xandertech, Saraki praised the physicians for their patriotic choice to halt the strike.
The former Senate President, who is also a doctor, stated that “the news that many of the members put in over 100 hours of work every week astonished me the most.
“I recall that when I was a young doctor working in hospitals, the most hours I could work in a week were 72. Since then, the maximum number of hours a doctor can work in a week has been decreased in the UK and the majority of other nations for safety reasons.
“However, in our nation, some doctors continue to put in more than 100 hours. The patients those doctors treat are at risk because of this, he continued.
Because of the severe lack of workers, according to Saraki, “many of our qualified doctors and nurses have left the country to practice abroad.”
“I am even surprised to find that other African countries like Ghana, Gambia, Kenya, and Senegal are already stealing Nigerian physicians, in addition to the US, UK, Saudi Arabia, Canada, and other Western countries.
“Some of the issues aren’t always related to low pay; they might also be the result of bureaucratic bottlenecks that prevent rapid replacement of departing employees. I’ve been told that this is one of the requirements for ending the strike, therefore whoever is in charge of it ought to take immediate action.
He asked the state governments to look into the issue of low wages and the federal government to do the same, saying that “surely countries like Gambia don’t have the resources that we do.” Therefore, it is about the value we place on the compensation of the medical staff.
In order to improve the welfare of doctors and other medical professionals, he claimed that as a former governor and Senate President who helped establish the Community Health Insurance Scheme at the state level and who instigated the inclusion of one percent of the Consolidated Revenue Fund as a basic health fund, “I see the danger we find ourselves in if nothing is done urgently at all levels to build on these past efforts.”
“For the national and subnational administrations, constructing large hospitals and high-tech equipment means putting the wagon before the horse in the lack of sufficient trained employees. And when they are creating their budget, their priority-setting should reflect this.
According to the former two-term governor of Kwara State, “As a matter of urgency, all stakeholders-policymakers, government officials at national and sub-national levels, non-governmental organizations, development partners, civil society groups, individuals who run health-related foundations, and others, we should all do our bit in addressing this exit of our medical doctors and nurses.”
He appreciated the doctors’ patriotism and praised them for working under challenging circumstances.