The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has opposed the call by the striking health workers under the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) for the removal of Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole.
The health workers have been on strike for five weeks, disrupting services in Nigeria’s public hospitals.
They called for Mr Adewole’s sack last week, accusing him of bias and supporting medical doctors who are opposed to their demands.
But the NMA on Thursday in a statement by its President, Francis Faduyile, described the call as an act of “rascality and disregard” for the office of the Health Minister.
“We observe with dismay the maligning of the Honourable Ministers of Health and that of Labour and Productivity by JOHESU, calling them all sorts of uncomplimentary names.
“This is an act of rascality and disregard. This call for the removal of the Minister of Health has finally exposed their motive for disrupting the progress recorded in the Ministry of Health in the last three years of the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration.
“One wonders if the salary of JOHESU members is all that the Health Ministry is about.”
The doctors also opened a social media poll calling for a vote of confidence on the health minister.
Since the health workers’ strike began on April 17, the health minister has been involved in discussions between the federal government and the union in a bid to resolve the impasse.
No common ground has been reached so far and the health workers attributed government’s ‘slow pace’ towards meeting its demands to a threat by doctors and accused Mr Adewole of a ‘body language’ that militates against resolving the crisis.
Nigerian doctors a few weeks ago threatened to withdraw their services if the government accedes to JOHESU demands.
Meanwhile, as the strike continues unabated, doctors have decried repeated attacks and lock down of hospital facilities across the country by the striking health workers, hindering patients from receiving health services.
In the Thursday statement, the NMA called for improvement in security in health institutions across Nigeria.