The Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, has urged members to get regular check-ups and take care of themselves in order to provide better healthcare to the public.
The NMA issued the call during the Elders Hangout to conclude the 2023 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Anambra Branch in Awka, the state capital.
The AGM’s theme was ‘Mass Emigration of Doctors and Other Health Workers: Origin, Challenges, and Solution.’
The Chairman of the occasion, Emeritus Prof. Okechukwu Mbonu said the call became necessary to enable doctors to pay attention to their own health while taking care of others.
Mr Mbonu called on the Nigerian Government to address the continued depletion of manpower in the health sector through the brain drain or outward migration of professional health workers.
He said; “the factors responsible for the ‘japa’ or the brain drain phenomenon should be addressed to bridge the widening generational gap in the sector.”
“We should go for check-ups regularly, most of us take our health for granted, at 83, I still see patients, I operate without glasses, so doctors should take care of themselves too,” Professor Mbonu said.
He said; “The elder’s hangout is a forum to advise our young ones who want to leave the country on why they should stay back and be patient with the government.
Also, the National Secretary of the NMA, Dr. Jide Onyekwelu said every doctor should have a doctor to manage his or her health as they were also humans who could be patients.
Onyekwelu said ”no doctor could treat himself objectively as they were advised as a matter of ethics not to treat their relations.”
He said beyond complacency, the ‘japa’(migration) phenomenon which had reduced the number of practicing doctors in Nigeria, had further put pressure on available ones.
Onyekwelu commended the NMA leadership in Anambra, under Dr Jane Ezeonu, for its innovativeness and the success achieved in the last one year.
He said the young doctors’ summit gave the branch first hand information on the reasons young doctors always look forward to leaving Nigeria to practice in other countries after graduating.