Falana Wants Govt Officials Banned From Seeking Healthcare Abroad

Falana also urged the federal government to meet the demands of the resident doctors without any further delay in order to pave way for the suspension of all forms of hostilities in the health sector.

Falana Wants Govt Officials Banned From Seeking Healthcare Abroad

Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has advocated the need to ban medical tourism for top government officials, “since the federal government has continued to toy with the health of the people.”

In a statement issued by the Lagos-based lawyer Wednesday, he lamented that the federal and state governments spend billions of naira to train medical personnel and other health professionals but allow them to leave the country to serve in other countries where conditions of service are qualitatively better than what is obtained in Nigeria.

Falana also urged the federal government to meet the demands of the resident doctors without any further delay in order to pave way for the suspension of all forms of hostilities in the health sector.

On the suit filed by the federal government before the National Industrial Court (NIC), which seeks to restrain the doctors from continuing with the strike, Falana noted that the court did not grant the order of interim injunction sought by the government but directed both sides to suspend all forms of hostilities pending the hearing and determination of motion on notice.

According to the statement, “In view of the intervention of the National Industrial Court in the dispute, the federal government should meet the demands of the resident doctors without any further delay, to pave way for the suspension of all forms of hostilities in the health sector. “

Since the federal government has continued to toy with the health of the people, foreign medical treatment for public officers should be banned.

“It is unfortunate to note that the federal and state governments, which spend billions of naira to train medical personnel and other health professionals, allow them to troop out of the country to serve in other countries where conditions of service are qualitatively better than what is obtained in Nigeria. The dangerous trend must be halted by the governments.”

The federal government had in the application prayed the court to grant two interim injunctions against members of National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) in all the states of the federation, pending the determination of the suit marked NICN/ABJ/197/2021.

It specifically applied for “an order of interlocutory injunction restraining members of the defendant/respondent in all states of the federation from further continuing with the industrial action embarked upon on August 2, 2021, contrary to Section 41 of the Trade Dispute Act, pending the termination of the substantive suit.”

It also applied for “an order of interlocutory injunction to compel all members of the defendant/respondent in all states of the federation to suspend the said industrial action which commenced on August 2, 2021, and resume work immediately, pending the determination of the substantive suit.”

However, in his ruling, Justice Targema, instead of granting the prayer, rather, issued an order that was directed at both the claimants (Federal Ministry of Health and the federal government) and the defendant/respondent (NARD).

The Judge said: “Upon reading the motion ex-parte and affidavit sworn to by Ahmed Nasiru of the Federal Ministry of Health, and after hearing D. E. Kaswe for the applicants, it is hereby ordered that the claimants/applicants and the defendant/respondent suspend all forms of hostilities forthwith, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.”

The court subsequently adjourned the matter to September 15, 2021, to hear the substantive matter, even as it ordered service of all the relevant processes on NARD.

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