Benjamin Oluwatosin, the chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association, chapter, Lagos State branch, has bemoaned the state government’s focus on instances involving the deaths of doctors in the region.
The group noted that the death of musician Ilerioluwa Aloba, better known by his stage name MohBad, recently captured the full attention of the state government, but such attention was not received when Dr. Vwaere Diaso, a physician and house officer, was killed after being caught in a lift as a result of an accident, at a government-owned hospital on Tuesday, August 1, 2023.
In contrast, the Lagos NMA noted, the passing of MohBad captured the full attention of the state’s authorities.
Benjamin claimed in a statement released on Saturday that the administration had been careless in how it had handled issues of deaths of doctors in the state.
The statement partly read, “In saner climes, the government would have instituted a proactive and holistic audit of the entire process that led to her death. Instead, government agencies and institutions have been the clog in discovering and ascertaining what actually transpired – which would have helped prevent a recurrence.
However, there is a conspicuously glaring and shocking difference in the government’s attention, approach, and style of handling the Mohbad’s incident and cases involving the losses of lives of doctors in Lagos State and, by extension, Nigeria.
“How does one explain the tragic loss of a diligent medical doctor who was hit by a crossfire of untimely death in her workplace? No thanks to systemic failure, malfunctioning laws, and ill-equipped workplace aptly enabled by the government.
“It is disheartening to note that of all the stakeholders invited by the panel, only the Lagos State Safety Commission and the Medical Guild responded. Others who flagrantly ignored the invites include the Medical Director of General Hospital, Odan, Immediate and past Medical Director of General Hospital, Odan, Chairman and Permanent Secretary of Health Service Commission, General Manager of Lagos State Infrastructure Asset Management Agency (LASIAMA), and the facility manager of of the building – Sekida Global Concepts Nigeria Limited.
“Suppose doctors, in an attempt to provide basic health care, are killed, and the government keeps paying lip service and sycophantic gesticulations. Where do we go from here? Then, it becomes imperative to ask, “Do doctors’ lives matter, too?”