President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Abuja urged the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to shelve its planned strike action and give the Federal Government more time to address the grievances of doctors.
Speaking at a meeting with the leadership of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), President Buhari gave the doctors an assurance that no agreements duly entered into by the Federal Government will be dishonoured by his administration.
He called for greater understanding and support from doctors and all Nigerians in view of the present short fall in national revenue brought about by the decline of crude oil prices.
The President decried the adverse impact of the fall in oil prices on the Federal Government’s spending plans for health and other sectors, but promised that his administration will continue to do its best to address issues that are of concern to doctors and other Nigerians.
The President also gave the NMA delegation an insight into his administration’s plan to establish 10,000 primary healthcare centres across the country in the next two years with the objective of providing better healthcare for about 100 million Nigerians.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole described the plan to establish more healthcare centres as “the single most ambitious health plan for the poor in the history of Nigeria”.
In his remarks at the meeting, NMA President, Dr. Kayode Obembe called for the implementation of the report of the Yayale Ahmed Committee on better relations among professional groups in the health sector.
The NMA President also called for fast-tracking of the implementation of the National Health Act.