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Strike: Reps threaten medical council registrar with arrest over no-show at hearing

Strike: Reps threaten medical council registrar with arrest over no-show at hearing
April 08
21:40 2021

The house of representatives committee on health care services has threatened to invoke a warrant of arrest on Tajudeen Sanusi, registrar of Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), if he fails to appear before the lawmakers on Friday.

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Sanusi was summoned to appear before the committee on Thursday — to answer questions on the reasons for the ongoing strike by resident doctors.

The doctors, who embarked on an indefinite strike on April 1, had issued a 13-point demand, including the sack of Sanusi “for failure to demonstrate competence in the handling of the central placement of house officers”.

However, his absence on Thursday stalled the meeting of the committee, with the panel describing him as a “major stakeholder”.

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Tanko Sununu, chairman of the committee, while lamenting non-appearance of registrar, said it would “invoke all the necessary powers of the national assembly including the warrant of arrest on the registrar,” if he fails to appear before the panel of Friday.

“We sent out invitations to all major stakeholders to attend this meeting. Unfortunately he refused to appear,” Sununu said.

“So, because he is a major stakeholder, we have decided to call off the meeting today and summon him to appear unfailingly before us by 9am [Friday], failing which, we are going to invoke all the necessary powers of the national assembly, including the warrant of arrest on the registrar.

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“We cannot watch while people are suffering. We also call on the striking doctors to please temper justice with mercy. Everybody believes that your demands are genuine, but there are processes to achieve them.

“We were informed that they (MDCN) were conducting a medical disciplinary tribunal and meeting which we believe is the case of an individual.

“We are here to address national interests. Peoples’ lives were lost during the strike; services were interrupted; accessibility to health-care was also denied because of the strike.

“And to make matters worse, in Nigeria 70 percent of healthcare procurement is out of pocket. The economy has gone down, so access to healthcare is in question. We cannot, as representatives of the people, allow the country to continue like this.”

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