WELCOME ADDRESS BY THE CHAIRMAN NIGERIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION BAYELSA STATE AT THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE 2017 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING/SCIENTIFIC MEETING
On behalf of the State Officers Committee (SOC), the State Executive Committee (SEC) and the entire members of the NMA Bayelsa State, I welcome you to the Opening ceremony of the 2017 Annual General Meeting/Scientific Conference (AGM). The AGM is a time to evaluate the events of the Association within the past year, plan for the next year and offer our expertise free to the good people of Bayelsa State. Government is a continuum and we wish to thank previous SOCs and SECs for the foundation on which the present SOC and SEC are working.
This year, our theme is “Provision of Affordable, Accessible Quality Health Care in Bayelsa State” and the theme lecture will be given by a man committed to the improvement of healthcare in the state. The NMA Bayelsa continues to render corporate social responsibility and just yesterday we had a free medical outreach at Sagbama, Sagbama Local Government Area. We have continued to educate the public on health issues weekly on Radio and also work closely with the Female Lawyers (FIDA) on health-related social issues. We have continuously visited the NYSC camp to interact with not only the Medical practitioners but all health care professionals, giving them information, guidance and support. We have been partners with the Bayelsa State Government and sincerely appreciate the Government acceding to most of our requests made during the Physician’s week in October 2016. These include the appointment of a Commissioner of Health, resurrection/resuscitation of the Bayelsa Health Services Scheme, approval of the corrected CONMESS, employment of healthcare workers and land for the NMA secretariat. We acknowledge and thank the Government for the land and we will be honoured if His Excellency can both lay the foundation stone to commence work and also cut the tape to declare the fully built Secretariat complex open. However, the bill for the State Primary Healthcare Development Agency and its subsequent establishment is yet to materialise. Also, the regular quarterly interaction with the Governor has not continued. We still advocate a Physician-driven Primary Healthcare system and staff development programme to meet up the challenges of providing healthcare since the doctor:patient ratio of 1:6000 in Bayelsa State is below the national average of 1:4000.
We are worried about quackery and misinformation of the public about one-drug wonder cures advertised all over the state. Bayelsa State is the least regulated healthcare-wise and therefore has become home to all charlatans masquerading as Alternative medicine practitioners. Something drastic needs to be done.
The Association has met all its obligations in terms of meetings at the State, Zonal and National level despite a drastic drop in income.
The NMA Bayelsa is made up of not just hardworking medical practitioners but also excellent sportsmen. The State came first at the zonal NMA Games in Calabar in November 2016, and contributed almost half of the South-South contingent to the NMA National Games in Jalingo in March 2017 where the South-South came first. It is important to note that every member of the Bayelsa contingent won at least one gold medal. We appreciate our Elders forum for the wonderful behind the scenes work they have continued to do to make the Association united and stronger. We also wish to reiterate our commitment to the provision of qualitative healthcare to the people of Bayelsa State. We thank all members of the Association for the continuous support.
Thank you for gracing this occasion.
Long live NMA Bayelsa State!
Long live the Medical Profession!
Long live Bayelsa State!
Dr. Keme Pondei