By Ifeoma Ofurum
The Federal Government has been asked to intervene in the failing health sector in Imo State, occasioned by the plans by the state government to concession hospitals, a move resisted by workers.
Speaking to Christian Voice Newspaper recently, the Chairman of the Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria in Imo State, Dr. Philip Njemanze, said that the concessioning plan had caused ripples in that sector, leading to protests by medical doctors who were harassed and wounded by security operatives, as well as closure of some hospitals in the State.
Njemanze, an academician and prolifer, linked the concessioning deal to a clandestine plan by some powerful cartel to begin an illegal trafficking on human organs in Imo State.
“Imo people are at the brink of extermination by a dangerous international organ trafficking cartel using government facilities”, he said.
According to him, the facts were identified jointly by some experienced doctors in 2012 and articulated in a 214- page petition to the Federal Executive Council and the international community which also warned that millions of people would die if it is allowed.
On the medical doctor who was allegedly wounded during the demonstration, Prof. Njemanze said he was in a stable condition.
He affirmed that the protesting doctors were attacked by uniformed men and urged the police to always say the truth to protect their image.
Dr. Njemanze, who also commented on the Imo government’s plan to dualise the MCC/Uratta Road, said that it would send so many companies out of business
He said also that the dualization was not reflected in the Owerri City master plan, saying that a law prevents the government from dualising the road in that manner.
He, however, advised the government not to do it to hurt some people who, they believe, have criticized its policies in the past, urging the governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, to abide by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in matters of that nature.
Meanwhile, following the protest by the medical doctors against the concessioning of the health sector and the allegation that Imo health centres and hospitals might be used for international organ trafficking cartel, the Chairman of the Association of the General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria in Imo State, Dr. Philip Njemanze, has been arraigned in court.
When contacted, Dr Njemanze said that he was invited by the police in connection with the allegation on the governor over organ trafficking cartel, adding that he was asked to write a statement and thereafter he was granted bail. He disclosed that the matter has been charged to Magistrate Court 11, hearing would begin on March 1, 2016.
However, the chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA ) in Imo State, Dr Emele, when contacted, said that the association was strongly behind Dr Philip Njemanze, adding that they will defend him to the letter. “MNA is not against going to court. Government has the right to head to court if they feel that the allegation was false. The court is there to protect us. I believe that the truth will be told in the court and the matter will be settled once and for all,” he said.
He described Dr Njemenze as a strong voice in NMA who understands the profession very well, stressing that he has toured round the world and gathered a wealth of experience which he brought down to the state, and as a result, cries out loud whenever anybody tries to toy with Imo health sector.