NMA Seeks Truce Between FG And Striking Doctors

Nigerian Medical Association - Wikipedia

James Okafor

The Enugu chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has called for truce between government and striking Resident Doctors.

The Association therefore asked the Federal Government to withdraw the case instituted against the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to bring about amicable resolution.

Chairman of NMA Enugu State Branch, Dr Jude Onyia, stated this while speaking to newsmen on Wednesday, August 25, stressing that at no time had court suits brought amicably settlement of industrial disputes.

‘For a harmonious settlement to be reached, dialogue is the only answer”.

”Resident doctors have remained the main professional workforce in tertiary health institutions in the country. They constitute over 50 per cent of the workforce,” he said.

He noted that the medical consultants might be working but it might not be effective; and the number of patients to be attended to would be reduced as well.

According to Onyia: “the striking doctors are enjoying the sympathy of the general public”; adding that it would be in the best interest of all for amicable settlement and plights of doctors looked into objectively.

“The National Executive Council of the NMA will be meeting on Wednesday, in Benin; where we hope to discuss the strike extensively but the Federal Government must withdraw the suit against NARD.

“The government needs to also withdraw the circular by the Head of Service removing House Officers and NYSC doctors from the scheme of service.

“There should be relative atmosphere of peace for dialogue and round table discussion; which is the needed negotiation to take place,’’.

He dismissed as poor the N5,000 given to doctors as hazard allowance in the face of their exposure; to dreaded diseases such Lassa fever, Ebola and COVID-19, which had claimed the lives of some doctors already.

“The government and entire nation have to rally round our doctors to check their exodus from the country; which portends more danger for the health sector and well being of the entire citizens.

“If, the current number of doctors still giving service in the country, is further reduced; it will surely tell on the health system of the country and the burden will be enormous.

“The capacity of the medical system to have good number of doctors; to attend to unforeseen nationwide health emergencies would be hampered,” he said.

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