NMA Threatens Strike If FG Accedes To Health Workers’ Demands


The federal government has been pushed to a tight corner as medical doctors, against whom other health workers’ ongoing industrial action is indirectly targeted, have threatened to embark on their own strike should the government accede to the demands of the Joint Health Sectors’ Unions (JOHESU).

JOHESU and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had said the refusal of the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, to abide by the ruling of the National Industrial Court(NIC) over some of the issues in contention was responsible for the strike.

JOHESU is demanding, among other things, having consultants among their non-medical staff members, the payment of specialist, call duty/shift and other professional allowances as enjoyed by doctors.

In a swift response to the indirect assault, however, the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), in a statement yesterday, said while it had nothing against the right of “any group or individual” to determine how best to achieve its objectives, the doctors would down tools if government succumbed to blackmail and intimidation.

The statement signed by Dr. Osahon Enabulele and Dr Akpufuoma Pemu, President and Secretary-General respectively, said: “We affirm that no group or union has monopoly over the use of strike actions in seeking the actualisation of its objectives.

“Therefore, the NMA shall not hesitate to use similar means if government fails to uphold the rule of law and succumbs to blackmail and intimidation.”

In a meeting summoned by the Minister of Labour and Productivity; Chief Emeka Wogu, on behalf of the federal government yesterday, to seek a quick resolution to end the strike, the Secretary General of the Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions (SSAUTHRAI), Mr. Moshood Akinade, speaking for JOHESU, said since his assumption of office, Chukwu had pursued only the interest of the NMA to the detriment of other health professionals.

He gave instances of the minister’s actions and policies which were clearly in favour of the NMA, events which played a big role in last week’s declaration of an indefinite strike by the union.


  1. I think Nigeria seriously need a legislation on the use of strike as an instrument for making the government to accede to the depends of various trade groups in Nigeria. Some of the strikes are unjustified and should be condemned by all well meaning individuals.

  2. Wonders shall never end when Nurses and Medical Lab. Scientist said they are eligible to become Head of Health Sector. Are they not, after spending two semester to study Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry (Keith Moore, Guyton & Ganong, Herper’s & Vasudevan/Chaterjea) and then proceed to spend two semester in the clinical, then write project and research work for two semester (That’s in Conventional School). Making a total of six semester (after which a semester has 4 months) which sum up together to a total of 24months which makes 2years. They spend two years in medical college (LOLz). They are now Compairing themselve with someone who spend 6 solid year in medical school. I think with this little analysis they can judge themselve. Medico Dharmy

    • Medico Dharmy, I can perfectly understand now that you are a fooool. Managing an organisation or sector does not require much medical theory but skills and experience which majority of the Medical Doctors do not have. Nonsense with uneducative bias mind.

  3. NMA and other health workers have the right to embark on industrial action for whatever grievances. So, also do patients have the right not to die and be cared for by NMA and other health workers. Things will soon start happening for any patient that dies because medical personnels went on strike… Be warned!

  4. It was unfortunate that Chuckwu was made the minister of health because he has no calibre to represent such. I served under him in Ebonyi state university teaching hosp then while he was the chief medical director. I was the first graduate nurse to serve as a youth corper in the hospital and he treated me callously with discriminations. All the documents of his action to my demand are there for people to see.Being a medical doctor does nt mean u ve d monopoly of patient health without other health personnel. He is so pompous of himself. It is unfortunate the he is minister of health in Nig. The president should be aware of his attitude.

    • wow, wonders never end. Mr or Mrs akiwah, you are not very observant, since the strike started who remain in the hospital nonsence. if those you call paramedics are always on strike nothing is moving in the entire health sector. But let Doctors go on strike and see everything in the sector remain unchanged

  5. Its a pity these paramedics have so much inferiority complex.
    The Federal Government would be foolish to grant even just one of their demands.
    World over, doctors are the head of the medical team, its only in Nigeria this anarchy would stand.
    They can strike and enjoy the strike too. Hospitals are functioning.

    • mr/mrs niki/r u medically inclined.u speak as one of dos bankin students.let me educate u/in d western world,who r doctors.doctor is a title in a field of study.any body can be.medsurg supose 2b a course wit pasion 4d patient n nation atlarge nt moni drum.i will advise u 2 go 4d pasion .leave dat mata alone

  6. Headship of NMA should be reminded that they are just an association and not a trade union,the era of illegality is over

  7. Diz johesu pipo r jux stupid for makin diz demands, whuz fault iz it dat most of them couldn’t get into med school or even dropped along d way and now lookin for a way tu pull docz down…every health team has a head wc can neva b a lab technician,,,dey shd beta accept dis simple reality or live miserabli wiv dier inferiority issues

  8. @medico wateva, u can’t even perform a simple calculation. who spends 2 years and who spends 6 years? please go back and check your calculations. NMA has always wanted to monopolize everything positive coming to the health sector… But doctors can’t stand alone. We the Healthcare workers DO NOT have any complex, on the contrary it is the Doctors who have superiority complex. Stop feeling so high and mighty! The world does not start and end with doctors.

  9. We shall see who wins. Losers! How many hours in a whole month do u spend on duty? Night offs + shifts and the rest. Do doctors enjoy all these? As far as i am concerned, most of the other health workers are paid better than doctors especially in federal hospitals using the number of hours spent at work as a criterion. I will advise the federal government to adopt this mode of salary payment in Nigeria. Doctors need night offs and shifts too.

  10. I have studied closely yr comments and seen dat MOs are on their side lost in grandiosity. As a patient, I know that MOs depend ond Lab 4 diagnosis, Nurses for care and other treatments, pharmacists 4 expert drug advice and so on. 2 me U are all colleagues working in collaboration. Esp. d nurse who stay with us 24hs 7days. Some times they will call d dr. who will either delay or deny us of our right 2 health. Stop insinuating, we know who is who. My treatment had been full of vacum/ incomplete since dis people went on strike. U are all important pls. Pls GEJ intervene!

  11. The issue at stake is an industrial court has given judgment on a contentious issue,the FG has the obligation to obey court rule until the appeal is vacated.

  12. NMA Threatens Strike If FG Accedes To Health Workers’ Demands and so what. Let them be ready to do so and see if anything in the health sector could be changed. I always consider the presence of medical Doctors in the hospital as a favour to them just to have something doing. I know with my experience and knowledge in my field nothing a doctor does without me did better than him/her. And so let them embark on strike and see whether we can not manage the sector without any changes seen.

  13. Mr Murtala,I hope you’ll be there to undertake a caesarean section when your relative presents with obstructed labour,and that you’ll skillfully undertake a salpingectomy when a young female presents with a bleeding ectopic pregnancy.I also hope that when an accident victim presents with a communited fracture of d pelvis you’ll be on hand to use your med lab knowledge to tackle it and also use your nursing skills to deliver a patient with diabetic ketoacidosis and coma.Be prepared!

  14. Anybody that wants to be a medical doctor shld go and pick up JAMB form and fill for medicine.When u pass through the tests of discipline in medschl and graduate as a doctor,all the priviledges of will follow you.
    Doctors are doctors,and there’s no dynamics in putting them in d same basket as nurses or medlab scientists or physiotherapists or radiographers or medical record officers,sorry,but that’s the practical truth.Doctors have always been d head of d health team and that’s d practise everywhere in d world.Stop getting things all backward guys.If u want to be a doc,the Universities are still wide open,go test your power!

  15. See beef o.It is only in Nigeria that we see dis rubbish.People who did not go to medical School wants to be consultants,pls. Johesu go and pick a jamb form now o.
    @Murtala:which hospital do you work in because you need to be arraigned for professional misconduct.Drop the name and address of ur hospital if you are bold.

    • @palex, I would not be surprise may be a surgeon or training to be. You don’t know in the field of Medicine world wide surgeons are the laziest among the Medical sector academically. Anyone can be surgeon even an attendant in the theater, is the matter of experience and skills. The type of surgical procedures you mentioned are even the most simplest procedures for a trained personnel to carryout. I thought may be you will mention some craniosurgeries,Neurosurgeries,Temporal bone Dissection and cochlear implants ETC you are calling some procedures even a student Nurse can attend to in a civilized countries. Pls go back to school and be among the Community Medicine Specialist so that you can argue with people like me lazy Doctor.
      @E-Prime, am working with the National Hospital, ask most of your senior colleagues ‘Consultants’ working there they would tell you who am I. Be careful. Right now I am abroad attending a course.

  16. Murtala,it’s not for you to reel out the names of specialist surgeries that is the issue here.The point is that u have said in your earlier comment that you will be on hand to attend to patients when they come to d hosp and that doctors will not be missed.So, I have asked u to perform a simple CS for your relatives that may present with an obstructed labour.I only expect u to say yes you are prepared to do that and not to open your textbook and showing off with names of surgeries you know nothing about.

  17. Murtala,it’s not for you to reel out the names of specialist surgeries that is the issue here.The point is that u have said in your earlier comment that you will be on hand to attend to patients when they come to d hosp and that doctors will not be missed.So, I have asked u to perform a simple CS for your relatives that may present with an obstructed labour.I only expect u to say yes you are prepared to do that and not to open your textbook and start showing off with names of surgeries you know nothing about.It’s people like u that indulge in medical quackery and kill legions of unsuspecting and naive citizens.If u want to be a Medical Doctor go pick up a JAMB form.

  18. @medico. are yu realy in nigeria, do yu know what’s optainable in the developed world, have you ever taking your time to look at their course work in the university or you are just being the arrogant you that you always are? Do you even know why Health services is on the decline in this country? Did you study administration in the university or clinical stuff? you spent exact years the anatomist spent studying anat. b/4 going to clinical in ug4. so what are yu saying. the nurses the pharmacist all spent 5years in the uni.! why are yu guys afraid of change, why? just know that you can’t do nothing for the truth but the truth

  19. Power tussle and the pride that wounds the lion. With obvious dissatisfaction I watch the goings on in this country in times of bickering and backbiting of various agencies, departments and ministries in this country. This ugly incident is part of the reason why we have experienced redundancy in almost every sector of our economy. The Health ministry has in recent times been the focus of the media, x.raying the canker-worm in the system. A system where a group of professionals feels that they are most important and others are para medics and as such are nonentities cannot be a healthy, responsive one. That system is selfish, mercenary and does not truly have the interest of the patient at heart. A system whereby resistance is met with by other professionals and not by the government is a sick system that is porous and devoid of any clues as to how to fight government irresponsibility.

    The truth of the matter is that it is long overdue when NMA, and JOHESU realised that government is playing politics on their inability to coexist. It is time for the NMA and JOHESU to unite and fight the government and not for the NMA to make conflagrating statements by saying that they will go on strike should FG accedes to the requests of JOHESU. That in itself is beautiful nonsense. NMA does not have the right to do that cos it is not a direct recipient of the strike action. Moreover, it will be tantamount to a criminal offence should NMA do that. FG has been very fair to the Doctors and have been most unfair to the paramedics. They certainly have a right to fight for their well-being. There is need for people to embrace peace and not look down on others. If a paramedic wants to be a consultant by virtue of his/her academic qualifications, why would that be a problem with a doctor, especially non doctors or medical students who have been indoctrinated that by their tutors that these Healthcare professionals are empty heads. Maybe in times past, nurses are trained in a quack clinic by one quack doctor, but things have changed a great deal now. Some folks commented that nurses have a 2 yrs education, that maybe true for school of nursing nursing program but the fellow refused to acknowledge that there is a change now in the profession with more emphasis on nurses getting a degree now. The nursing profession for instance is a five years consolidated program that is supposed to climax by a one year internship. The program by first and second year have both medical, lab, physiotherapy and radiography students being taught by the same people. For instance in the University of Nigeria, College of Medicine, we have big names in Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry teach both medical students and others. The only difference is the scope of coverage as the case maybe. Only people who are inexperienced tongue lash professionals on the premise of professional loyalty. That too is plain nonsensical.

    Being a doctor or nurse is a choice which one makes and nobody should criticize. Everyone is important and nobody should stand on the way of others progress. That is where anarchy and quagmires brews. Doctors will always be doctors, I respect them and so should any right thinking human. Nurses are great too and should be given their due respect. The truth of the matter is that those people you hold in derision because of one reason or the other are actually the live blood of the health system. Take for example, what can we all do without the CLEANERS. Obviously nothing. A doctor or nurse will never allow his ego self to stoop to do a cleaners job. Moreover, if a cleaner decides to get an education inorder to be able to do his cleaning well, why worry. Yes, Docs spent six years and others five. Is that not enough reason for them to be more cautious when dealing with others. Today we have Professors and consultants in other professions who are not medical doctors and they are doing quite well and are respected too. The former Minister of Health, Prof. Eyitayo Lambo, wasn’t a medical doctor. His records are there for you to verify. A WHO consultant par excellence. Pls and pls, FG you are our problem in this country. why on earth would you focus your attention in a sector where the collegial role performance of all and sundry is important? You increase doctors’ salary and neglect others does it make sense? You have blatantly refused to implement the graduate nurse internship for reasons best known to you. Is that a way of moving the nation forward? Where do you want these fresh graduates to get practical experience in a diverse discipline like nursing? Change is the only constant thing, and we must embrace it to move forward. So FG change your ways together with your cohorts who pay lip service to the plight of Nigerians. I know you don’t believe in God and you do not fear him, but his anger will indeed blaze against you someday and you must answer for your errors.

  20. Nurses stays with patient for 24hours doctors only came and priscribed for fews minute some time they even refuse to attend to patient when there were call there will feeling grandious feeling on top of d world because u a doctor me to me they not they only mos i can remenber when nma go for strike hospital run unchanged but wat of when johesu went for strike d hospital remaind dry. See most of d procedures doctors nurses teach them how to do it . nurses do most of d procedure better then doctorz but because inferiority comflex,lack of libaty ,and lack of power we nown fold our hand kai!!! We tired of being slaves. Look at what it happening in laboratory department a doctor can just go and do some jagousv come back be calling himself consultant heamatology claiming to be d head lab dept thiz are all part Abmormally u dont know any ting abaut microbiology u only know few thing abaut heam blood and u said u want to became the head laboratory sciencetist. U dont know any thing abaut and u want to became d head of nursing dis is purelly madnezs,johesu are tired bieing slaves by enemies so called nma

  21. Are you all that dumb? And stupid? How can anyone in his right senses compare doctors with these Johesuist or whatever they call themselves? Are you telling me this is still a country? People need IQ test before they can be allowed to enter the hospitals. And another thing– Consultant for medical lab technician, nurses, pharmacists? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? What part of your brain did this even come from? Are you sure you don’t need a brain CT. This is a society in vanities. Too much for a country.


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