Tom Okpe, Abuja
House Committee on Health Care Services of the House of Representatives has threatened to invokè warrant of arrest on the registrar, Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria if he fails to àppear before it, a second time.
Tajudeen Sanusi was invited to appear before the lawmakers on Thursday to answer questions on the ongoing strike by resident doctors and payment of House officers.
The lawmakers had to call off the meeting after a letter was delivered to the Committee that Sanusi was unavoidably absent.
The tribunal is the council’s ‘discipline and regulation’ body with the status of a High Court to try litigations against Doctors and Dentists.
Chairman of the Committee, Tanko Sununu said Sanusi failed to honour an invitation on a national emergency while attending a personal engagement.
He said: “We sent out our invitation to all major stakeholders to attend this meeting. Unfortunately, he refused to honor the invitation.
“We cannot watch while people suffer, so, we call on the striking Doctors to temper justice with mercy; everybody believe that your demands are genuine, but there are processes to achieve them.
“Because Sanusi 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 warrant of arrest on him.
“We were informed that MDCN is conducting a medical disciplinary tribunal and meeting, which we believe is the case of an individual.
“We are here to address national issues of 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 per cent 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,” he noted.