HEALTH

Guild of Medical Directors Laments’Extortion by Amac’_Ada Nkong

The Guild of Medical Directors has warned that the cost of providing health care might increase if AMAC does not review the high levies served them.

The President Guild of Medical Directors Prof Babalola said this in a letter made available to Journalist Friday in Abuja.

See full text of Letter

AMAC ‘REWARD’ DOCTORS WITH EXTORSION

Private hospitals in Abuja who have been suffering under the brunt of the economic woes brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic are again under siege from the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC).
The area council has recently unleashed its officials and agents to harass hospital owners for exorbitant and frankly ridiculous multiple taxes/levies for things such as tenement rates, fumigation license, TV/Radio license and other bogus charges.
We are witnessing a desperate effort to collect money in a way we have never seen before. How can a hospital be asked to paid a bill of over N500, 000 for TV/Radio license and N100, 000 for fumigation?
We have only started reopening after the problems related to the Corona virus and this is the time the council decide to reward private hospitals with extortion. They have a complete disregard to the issues being faced at this critical time. The amounts of money being demanded from hospitals in this current economic realities will definitely force many to close or pass on the money to needy patients.
Countless meetings and decisions about these multiple taxes have not yielded any sensible resolutions. The Guild of Medical Directors (GMD) wrote a formal letter to the AMAC Chairman in 2019, intimating him that issues to do with taxation were still under consideration. The Honorable Minister of Health had actually set up a committee to review this: yet the council sends its thugs and even Police Officers to harass hospital staff and patients.
They have very wrong assumption that private hospitals made a lot of money during this pandemic not knowing that many have even closed. Many hospitals have already shut down under the weight of this pandemic. Some may not even bother to open again with this kind of coldhearted revenue drive. We honestly cannot afford for more hospitals to close at this critical time.
Majority of the private hospitals in FCT serve the citizens in the suburbs where there is limited access to care.
The public is hereby put on notice that this behavior will affect the cost of care in Abuja and make healthcare unaffordable for many. The general public must take the matter up with the Chairman of the area council as we are tired of banging our heads on walls in frustration.
Soon, we will not be able to provide care for the majority of people in Abuja and its environs if the council does not see sense. We thereby call on the Honorable Minister of FCT and well-meaning Nigerians to call the council to order.

Name: Professor Olufemi Emmanuel Babalola

President, Guild of Medical Directors
Professor of ophthalmology
Consultant ophthalmologist Rachel Eye Center
IP HOD Surgery, Bingham University, Jos/Karu
Vice President, MEACO.

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