The chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Kaduna Chapter, Sheyin Madaki, says doctors in the contemporary economic hardship needed alternative sources of income.
Mr Madaki said this at the association’s annual general meeting (AGM) on Monday in Kafanchan, Jema’a Local Government Area (LGA) of Kaduna State.
The theme of the AGM was “Doctor’s well-being in current Nigerian economy: A call for alternative sources of income”.
He said the need for doctors to get alternative sources of income could not be overemphasised.
Mr Madaki added that doctors must begin to look at entrepreneurship, mentoring, business and innovative ideas as additional streams to help solve the challenges of their low income.
He said the present economic realities that have hit the nation further called for urgent intervention by the government through immediate alleviation of the sufferings by way of palliatives, incentives to workers, tax rebates and others.
“The last one year has had its own fair share of challenges as regards the well-being of doctors in the present economic realities
“The State Officers’ Committee, along with the support of affiliate leaders, have left no stone unturned in ensuring that the worsening welfare of members in the state is squarely addressed through continuous engagements with government and other agencies,” he said.
The NMA chairman added that the many challenges of the state’s doctors had been of paramount concern, however, noting that significant gains were made.
Mr Madaki thanked Governor Uba Sani, his deputy and commissioner for health, Imma Ahmed, for the concerns and commitments they had shown towards ending the suffering of healthcare workers in the state.
Mr Sani, represented by Ms Ahmed, said the state government had resolved to build and strengthen a healthcare system that was preventive in approach, well-equipped, staffed, accessible and affordable.
He acknowledged that the idea of seeking alternative sources of income within the medical community was not just a pragmatic response to economic pressures but also an opportunity for professional growth and diversification.
“It opens avenues for innovation, collaboration, and the expansion of the frontiers of medical practitioners beyond the boundaries of medical practice,” he added.
Mr Sani said the international economic meltdown brought about by COVID-19 in 2021 still lingers.
The governor said the Russian-Ukraine war, international soaring prices of oil and the removal of petroleum subsidy in Nigeria had combined to devalue workers’ take-home, noting that Nigerian doctors are no exception.
He, however, said the government was currently working on salary increases across the board, stressing, “it will not really solve the problem because of a frequent corresponding increase in prices in the market.