Medical doctors in Nigeria, under the canopy of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) have resolved to begin an indefinite nationwide strike, starting from tomorrow, July 1.
President of the Association, Dr. Kayode Obembe, who made this known today at a news conference in Abuja, said the decision to resort to strike was taken after the expiration of a two-week ultimatum the Association gave the Federal Government to meet its 24-point demand.
Obembe said they opted for a total and indefinite strike at an emergency delegates’ meeting held on June 28, after negotiations with the government failed to yield relevant results.
“The NMA is taking this painful route because our silence and gentle approach to these contending issues have been taken for granted.
“We have to take this action in order to save the health care delivery system from anarchy that is palpably imminent.”
He appealed for understanding, and called on Nigerians to prevail on the government to meet the demands.
The NMA president read out an open letter addressed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation in which the association listed the 24 issues it wanted the government to address.
The letter, entitled: ‘Minimum End Point for Restoration of Sustainable Sanity in Patient Care in Nigerian Hospitals’, was jointly signed by Obembe, NMA Secretary-General, Dr. Adewumi Alayaki and all heads of its affiliate bodies.
Some of the major issues include reserving the position of chief medical director to only medical doctors, appointment of Surgeon General of the Federation, passage of National Health Bill and providing security for doctors.
The NMA also wants increase in duty, hazard and specialist allowances, as well as budget for residency training programme.
It called for the reintegration of its members into the IPPIS platform, and reserving the title of consultants to only medical doctors, among others.