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Create friendly business environment, invest in domestic pharmaceutical companies, NMA tells FG

The Federal Government has been advised to create friendly business environment and make adequate investment in the domestic pharmaceutical and other companies.

 

The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, gave the charge at a press conference, addressed by the newly elected NMA president, Dr Bala Muhammad Audu, Wednesday, in Abuja.

NMA further appealed to the government to take urgent action to mitigate the impact of exodus of pharmaceutical and multi-national companies from the country and expressed fears that the future of Nigerians to access essential medicines may not be guaranteed.

The association further asked the government to urgently stop exodus of pharmaceutical and multi-national companies from Nigeria through adequate investment in domestic pharmacy and other companies.

Recall that NMA elected new officials at its 64th Annual General Conference and Delegates meeting, held at the Calabar International Convention Center, Summit Hills, in Cross River State from 5th to 12th May 2024.

The theme of the Conference was “Reversing the Trend of Health Sector Brain Drain” and the Subtheme was “Euthanasia in Medical Practice”.

NMA, while expressing regret over the exodus of pharmaceutical companies from Nigeria, insisted that the exit of the companies has “resulted in drugs shortages, geometric increases in the prices of drugs and job losses. “

It further noted that “this exodus raises serious concerns about the future of access to essential medicines by millions of Nigerians.”

The NMA expressed great worry that “despite the tremendous efforts being made by healthcare workers to deliver health care services to Nigerians, they were still violently assaulted and kidnapped in their workplaces.”

The communique of the annual general meeting, released to the media, said, “The conference also seriously frowned at the inability of governments to ensure the safe release of health workers still in captivity.

“The Conference is deeply worried that the spate of kidnappings, banditry, armed robbery and killing of innocent citizens in Nigeria, has reached alarming rates causing palpable fears among the citizens.

“The NMA noted the continuous exit of pharmaceutical giants from Nigeria due to challenging business environment caused by impact of naira devaluation and forex scarcity.

“This has resulted in drugs shortages, geometric increases in the prices of drugs and job losses. The conference further noted that this exodus raises serious concerns about the future of access to essential medicines by millions of Nigerians.

“The Annual General Conference reviewed the level of progress made in clearing the backlog of salary arrears, implementation of the new hazard allowance, the review and implementation of the revised Medical Residency Training Act (MRTA) and other salary packages for doctors and other health workers in various NMA state branches.

“The conference was impressed with the various interventions of the Executive Governors of Ekiti, Rivers and Ebonyi states.

“The Conference also noted the level of progress made by other governors in clearing backlog of unpaid salaries and improving the wages of doctors and other Health workers in their states.

“The conference noted the increasing number of quacks apprehended over the past few months. Suffice to say that quackery has brought untold hardships to many Nigerians, in terms of attendant complications with deadly outcomes,” the communique further read.

 

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