Doctors dismiss ‘ridiculous’ demands by other health workers

Doctors performing surgery on a patient

The Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria has described as “ridiculous” fresh demands by the Joint Health Sector Union, JOHESU, on the federal government.

JOHESU, a union made up of all government hospitals’ personnel, except medical doctors, last week gave the federal government two weeks ultimatum to meet its demands or risk withdrawal of services by its members.

Among others, it demanded a government circular defining functions and powers of honourary consultants, residency training for other health professionals, issuance of guidelines on appointment of chairman, Medical Advisory Committee, CMAC, autonomy for teaching hospitals and the removal of university lecturers as heads in some clinical departments.

MDCAN, in a statement signed by its president, Steven Oluwole, described the demands as ridiculous and reactionary.

“From these demands, JOHESU has again presented itself as a conglomerate of rabble rousers. No ideological viewpoint designed to improve health care delivery or development is represented, but reactionary viewpoints that can only set the healthcare system back,” the statement said.

‘’Residency training is not designed for popularity contest between medical and non-medicals. The request is an absurdity when put into context of job description. I expect the response of government to be non-political and professional.

“On issuance of guidelines on appointment of chairman, Medical Advisory Committee, this matter also is before the court. On autonomy for teaching hospitals and the removal of university lecturers as heads in some clinical departments, the same,” Mr. Oluwole said.

According to him, the request bordered on the ridiculous. He said JOHESU wanted teaching hospitals that were established by law to serve the universities from which they derived their names to become autonomous of the universities.

He explained that JOHESU wanted university lecturers employed to teach in the teaching hospitals to be replaced by non-academic consultants.

On the definition of functions and powers of honourary consultants, he stated, “This matter is before the National Industrial Court. All parties, which include JOHESU, are expected to respect the judicial process.”

He urged the federal government to operate broad guidelines that would restore sanity to the health sector and break the cycle of strikes that were hinged primarily on what he described as the hideous claims, inimical drive, and self-serving demands of JOHESU and could only make mockery of the Nigerian healthcare system and ridicule the government.

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