“The NMA is taking this painful route because our silence and gentle approach to these contending issues have been taken for granted.”
The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, on Monday announced plan to embark on an indefinite strike, starting from Tuesday, July 1.
The NMA President, Kayode Obembe, who made the announcement at a news conference in Abuja, said the decision followed the expiration of a two-week ultimatum it gave the Federal Government to meet its 24-point demand.
Mr. Obembe, said the association opted for a “total and indefinite strike” at an emergency delegates meeting held on June 28, after negotiations with the federal government failed to yield relevant results.
“The NMA is taking this painful route because our silence and gentle approach to these contending issues have been taken for granted,” he said. “We have to take this action in order to save the health care delivery system from anarchy that is palpably imminent.”
He appealed for understanding, and called on Nigerians to prevail on the government to meet the demands.
The NMA president read out an open letter addressed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation in which the association listed the 24 ssues it wanted the government to address.
The letter, entitled, “Minimum End Point for Restoration of Sustainable Sanity in Patient Care in Nigerian Hospitals’’, was jointly signed by Mr. Obembe, NMA Secretary-General, Adewumi Alayaki,and all heads of its affiliate bodies.
Some of the major issues include reserving the position of chief medical director to only medical doctors, appointment of Surgeon General of the Federation, passage of National Health Bill and providing security for doctors.
The NMA also wants “increase in duty, hazard and specialist allowances, as well as budget for residency training programme”.
It called for the reintegration of its members into the IPPIS platform, and reserving the title of consultants to only medical doctors, among others.