Ngige under fire over comment on doctors
Reactions have continued to trail the comment credited to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, that medical doctors are free to leave Nigeria because the country has enough hands.
The comment has attracted wide condemnation from members of the public.
Many Nigerians have slammed him for being ‘insensitive’ to the Nigerian health system
A cross of Abuja residents who spoke to our correspondent described the statement as uncharitable, careless and unreasonable comment.
They also argued Nigerians are disappointed to hear such negative comment from somebody who is a medical doctor and knows the challenges of Nigeria's health system.
They further stated that while other countries are keeping their best brains, a minister is happy that Nigerians best brains are being exported just because he can afford to travel abroad for medical treatment.
One of the respondents interviewed, Mr. Ajuro Asouk, said "how did we get here, how can one be so learned and yet so ignorant, Chris Ngige is a real disappointment, he would have gone into serious research to enables him knows what it takes to build a health system in a country"
Dr. Amos Diya, of Nyanya General Hospital Abuja, described the statement as negligence and an attempt by leader to run away from their core mandate and responsibility.
"I was surprised when I heard this statement credited to Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and who is also a stakeholder in the health sector. We are very far from a defined templates to build our health system in the country.
"If such statement is coming from a person who is to canvass for better welfare package for Nigeria's doctors in order to accommodate their service, it then means that Nigeria has nothing at hands in addressing medical tourism," Diya stated.
They also said that the comment by Ngige, has pointed to the fact that the APC led government has fails in their campaign promises of ending medical tourism in the country.
Dr. Paul Odey, medical practitioner with Aja hospital Abuja, lamented the decay in Nigeria health system, adding that the statement by Dr.Chris Ngige, will further discourage medical doctors, who are willing to stay and work in the country to leave the country as the statement by Ngige has not in any way addressing the plight of Nigeria's medical doctors.
"Ngige got it wrong. This is too bad at a time when we are gradually seen an increase in the number of medical practitioners in the country. We are not given special interest, in terms of good salary structure and allowances, like our counterparts in other countries, yet some of us sacrifice our service in order to save life", Odey affirmed.
He further stated that Ngige should withdraw the statement and apologize to Nigerians, especially his colleagues in the medical profession.