Attack on members: Resident doctors demand compensation from police
The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has condemned the assault of its members fighting the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic by security agents across the country.
Dr Aliyu Sokomba, the National President of the association, expressed their concern in a statement on Sunday in Kaduna.
“We have continued to receive shocking news of assaults on doctors across the country, the latest being a case of assault on a senior member of our association in Akwa Ibom State.
“Even as all the five cases that tested positive to COVID-19 in Akwa Ibom State are health care workers (2 doctors, 3 other health workers), doctors in the state have continued to find motivation and rare courage to sustain the fight,” he said.
The NARD president recalled that similar incident was reported in Lagos a couple of days ago.
“This is becoming an issue too many at a time when all hands are meant to be on deck to contain the deadly COVID-19 and reduce the burden of this disease and other ailments on Nigerians.
He added that the association condemns in totality these unprovoked and dastardly attacks by some overzealous and self-serving men of the Nigerian police.
“Any further assault on any doctor in line of his duty would be pushing us to breaking limit,” he threatened.
According to him, the association consequently demand that the culprit who was claimed to have been dismissed by the police authority, be arrested and prosecuted in a competent court of law.
He also demanded that a letter of apology be written by the Nigerian Police to the victim and the entire healthcare workers in the country.
“All financial implications for the treatment of the victim must be borne by the culprit/police force.
“We demand adequate compensation for the victim of this unprovoked assault for incapacitation and deliberate injury caused him.
“He reiterated that the association shall not hesitate to pursue this matter further with a clear directive to our members in Akwa Ibom State to stay away from duty if these demands are not expeditiously attended to by appropriate authorities.”
He said the sad reality of inadequacy of necessary protection which has put members in unnecessary risk, evidence of which is the exposure and infection of these healthcare providers, has continued to be a major setback in the fight against this pandemic.
“We have continued to advocate for provision of adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), but it appears our advocacy is falling on deaf ears.
“As though this development was not tragic enough, some overzealous police-men accosted a doctor on his way to the hospital and assaulted him despite appropriate identification, inflicted multiple injuries on him including a fracture to the left ulna (left forearm bone).
“It is painful to note that this is happening at a time when the rest of the world is rolling out packages to appreciate, encourage and protect their doctors, nurses and other frontline healthcare providers. “
He said some security agents in the country consider this perilous time an opportunity to exert their craze for violence and brigandage on citizens.
“We will not hesitate to respond appropriately to protect our members from such dastardly acts.
“It is unfortunate that assault against medics in Nigeria is being championed by our security agencies who are supposed to be protecting them.
“We will not condone deliberate threat to our lives as an addition to the already ominous situation that we battle everyday to contain,” he cautioned. (NAN)