PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
ADDRESS DELIVERED BY HIS EXCELLENCY
(DR. ANYIM PIUS (GCON),
AT THE ORDINARY
GENERAL MEETING OF THE
ASSOCIATION OF RESIDENT
DOCTORS HELD AT THE WUSE GENERAL
HOSPITAL ABUJA ON JUNE 27. 2002
It is my honor and privilege to address you today on the occasion of your ordinary general Meeting. This is not the first time I am interacting with your Association.
You will recall that in December, 2000, I personally intervened in the resolution of the crisis that led to your prolonged strike action over Doctors’ Professional Allowances.
The meeting that led to the resolution of the crisis was held right there in my Apo Mansion residence with your representatives. Although all your demands were not met, I am aware that your allowances have been substantially improved. However, it is said that to whom much is given, much is expected.
I must state here that the general public still expects much improvement in your professional behaviour. I therefore implore you all to adhere strictly to the ethics of your profession by upholding the Physicians’ Oath which you swore to and which enjoins you to “consecrate your lives to the services of humanity and practice your profession of medicine with conscience and dignity”.
Your services cannot and should never be quantified in monetary terms. I am very much aware of the fact that resident Doctors are the live-wire of the Medical Profession, the future consultants, on whose shoulders the burden of providing specialist care for the sick would eventually rest. I therefore urge you to take your training seriously and always employ dialogue as a means of resolving your differences with the rather than embarking on incessant strike actions.
There is a difference between a Professional Association, like yours, and a Trade Union. The difference is that while Trade Unions emphasize welfare and condition of service for their members, Professional Bodies like yours should place more emphasis on standards, ethics, discipline and practice.
The moment you lose sight of these in any proposal made to the government you degenerate to the status of a Trade Union and probably be regarded as such by the government. This often leads to confrontation and deadlock rather than yielding any useful results. Your Association is too honourable for that. I assure you of my support and that of the National Assembly in matters relating to your welfare whenever these are brought to my attention.
The theme of your conference “The Doctor in General Medical Practice: Challenges and Prospects” is well chosen. As you deliberate on this, may I remind you that one of the greatest challenges you face today as doctors is that of meeting the health needs of the general public. And as you strive to accomplish this task may I assure you that the prospects of your profession know no bounds.
I thank you all for your attention and wish you a fruitful deliberation.
Senator Anyim Pius Anyim (GCON)
PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE