Nigerian doctors on Wednesday warned that the already overstretched health system in the country could get worse if no immediate action is taken.
The doctors, under the aegis of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), said the healthcare system is already overstretched to an elastic limit due to the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world.
In a statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES, the doctors call on the federal government to address the legitimate demands of Nigerians to prevent more killings in the country.
“Our healthcare system is already overstretched to an elastic limit by COVID-19. We should not stretch it more with trauma and gunshot cases as it’s been witnessed yesterday in Lekki, Lagos Nigeria,” the association said.
Resident doctors are certified doctors undergoing residency to become consultants. They make up a large percentage of doctors in Nigeria’s tertiary hospitals.
Nigeria is currently battling with civil unrest initiated by a protest against police brutality which has since degenerated into violence and deaths.
The #EndSARS protest, a campaign against police brutality, extra Judicial killings, extortion and harassment has continued in different states of Nigeria despite the scrapping of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other concessions made by the Nigerian government.
The association’s statement is against the backdrop of the continuous shootings of unarmed protesters by some men in military uniform at the Lekki toll gate on Tuesday night.
The association said its members have also been at the receiving end of this dastardly act by members of the now-defunct Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS).
It noted that more people are running away from the country because of a lot of reasons including insecurity.
“Let us not make an already bad situation worse by giving the rest of us more reasons to run away, ” it said.
It calls for the removal of the military from streets and the police be refrained from shooting at unarmed citizens
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It also urged protesters to conduct themselves while demanding for change in the country.
“We call on the President of The Federal Republic of Nigeria and the National Assembly to please speak to Nigerians and address these legitimate demands.
“We call on Protesters to conduct themselves peacefully and not to allow thugs and miscreants to take advantage of this protest,” it said.
The medical body noted that its doors are open in all the State and Federal Tertiary Health facilities for expert management of injured Nigerians where necessary.