NMA Threatens To Shut Down Health Sector

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), yesterday threatened to shut down health care system if the Federal Government fails to meet their 24-point demand by July 1.

This came as the earlier 30-day ultimatum issued by members of the Joint Health Sector Unions and Assembly of Health Care Professionals (JOHESU/AHPA) to the Federal government over unresolved demands.

The doctors who expressed displeasure over what they described as “government’s lackadaisical attitude to its demand since the association suspended its strike on January 5″ urged the government to address the issues with more seriousness.

The NMA is opposed to the appointment of directors in hospitals and appointment of non-doctors as consultants, skipping of Grade 12 (CONMESS 2), adjustment of the doctors’ salary to maintain the relativity, implementation of the January 3, 2014 circular, immediate adjustment of the doctors’ salary to maintain the relativity, passage of the National Health Bill (NHB), and extend universal health coverage to cover 100 per cent of Nigerians.

Others are appointment of Surgeon General of the Federation, upward review of clinical duty allowance for honorary consultants and hazard allowance, immediate release of circular on rural posting, teaching and other allowances, immediate withdrawal of the CBN circular authorising the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN) to approve licensces for the importation of In-Vitro Diagnostics (IVDs), immediate release of circular on retirement age for medical doctors as agreed with the Federal Government, among others.

The NMA state Chairman, Dr. Francis Faduyile, while addressing journalists in Lagos, said the association would embark on an indefinite strike within the next 14 days if the issues related to the appointment of Chief Medical Directors and other federal appointments in the health sector were not resolved.

“Nobody wants to go on strike. It is an obvious fact that even many of our members have died during strike. We are expecting government to re-right some wrongs but instead of changing position of things, they are making things worse. Enough is enough. If the government fails after the expiration of our ultimatum, we will resume our suspended strike.”