By Moses Emorinken, Abuja

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has slammed Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, over his claims on payment of residency training for doctors.

Ngige had stated during a television interview that resident doctors in the United States of America (USA) and other developed countries were responsible for payment of their residency training programme whereas government pays for them in Nigeria.

Describing Ngige’s comment as hate speech capable of destroying an already struggling health system, the NMA countered the residency training of resident doctors in those countries are paid by their employers.

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NMA President, Prof Innocent Ujah, explained in a joint statement with the Secretary General, Dr Philip Ekpe, in Abuja, said: “In as much as we appreciate the efforts being made by the government to resolve the issues that have led to this avoidable and unnecessary industrial action by the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) wishes to clarify the misinformation by the Minister in the interview, which is seriously viewed to be a hate speech capable of bringing down the health system in Nigeria and thereby worsening the health care delivery and further escalate the crather unimaginable current brain drain.

“In the United States of America and other developed countries, Resident Doctors work as they are being trained and they are paid by their employers.

“In the United Kingdom, the employer of Resident Doctors is the NHS, which is similar to what is obtainable in Nigeria.

“Furthermore, Residents also pay to take their postgraduate Medical examinations in the developed countries, which is what also obtains in Nigeria.

“The NMA is totally in disagreement with the way and manner some government functionaries carry out their duties which is completely insensitive to the plight of the people.

“Accountability is the fulcrum for good governance in all facets and we do not demand anything less from those charged with the responsibility of governing the people.”

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