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Thursday, 12 December 2013

Doctors Threaten Nationwide Strike From December 14



The nation’s attention has been drawn to an imminent strike by Nigeria Doctors following Federal Government’s inability to meet the demands tabled by the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).


The NMA in a statement by its President, Osahon Enabulele, in Abuja on Wednesday called the attention of the Federal Government to the December 14 deadline it earlier issued to the government.


According Osahon, the Minister of Health should be blamed for not acting promptly on the NMA’s demands that were made five months ago.


“For over five months now, the NMA, which is the umbrella body for all medical and dental practitioners in Nigeria, has recurrently engaged the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Health, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation on issues bordering on some health sector challenges, workplace conditions and the conditions of service of doctors,” he said.

“On September 2, 2013, the NMA issued a 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government of Nigeria to address the issues tabled by NMA.


“However, based on the understanding reached following the intervention of the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, the NMA decided to extend her ultimatum by four weeks at her emergency National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held in Abuja on September 22, 2013.


“Following the expiration of the additional four weeks grace granted to the Federal Government, the NMA again magnanimously extended twice the ultimatum on account of the government’s constitution of a Presidential Committee and promised to speedily resolve the issues contained in the requests of the NMA.


“Sadly, since the report of the Presidential Committee was submitted to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, only the re-constitution and inauguration of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria has been achieved.


“The attention of the government to other issues bordering on workplace conditions and injustice meted out to doctors in their conditions of service and funding/infrastructural and equipment upgrade of the health sector have not received any significant attention,” the NMA chieftain said.


The president said, ” to this end, it may be difficult to guarantee further extension of the grace period and consequently, industrial harmony in the health sector, especially as the December 14, 2013 deadline issued to the Federal Government to concretely resolve the demands of the NMA draws closer.”


Osahon said efforts by the NMA to engage the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Health has collapsed “following the unserious approach and attitude of the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Health who seem to be less bordered about the potential crisis which may erupt in Nigeria’s health sector from Saturday, December 14, 2013”.


He, therefore, alerted the nation about the imminent collapse of health services across the entire country, given the apparent levity and lack of concrete commitment so far exhibited by the government.

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