The president of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Innocent Ujah, has said Nigerian doctors do not request for fees before attending to emergency cases because the priority was to “get the patient alive”.
Ujah stated this during his interview on Channels TV program. The NMA president also tackled the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) for harassing doctors who treat patients without a police report.
According to Uja; “As doctors, we don’t need police reports in emergency cases to treat patients. What you need to do is to save the life of the patients,” he said.
“Unfortunately, the law enforcement agencies in this country have lost their bearing in terms of control, they have no business asking us to get police reports before we treat emergency situations.
“The Nigeria Police should be educated on the role of the medical doctor. A medical doctor doesn’t need any permission before he attends to any emergency. We don’t even ask for fees.”
“You must first get the patient alive before you would think about fees.
“The reality on the ground is that when you do that you may be an accomplice; they may accuse you of hobnobbing or hiding, in cases of armed robbery and the rest.
“That creates fear and uncertainty and insecurity for the doctors and that’s why some doctors ask for police reports but by and large, there’s no law that says a doctor must seek a police report before he treats an emergency.
“I think it is the overzealousness of the police that when you treat such cases, they might say you’re complicit. So obviously the doctor is not safe and needs to be protected.
“Doctors have been harassed, some of of them locked up; they have been killed in the process of saving lives because of the police.”