National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) has described the ongoing nationwide strike by members of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) as selfish, unethical and illegal.
The Nurses alleged that doctors are on strike simply as a way of diverting patients to their private clinics to milk them of their hard earned resources.
The General Secretary of the Nurses Association, Yusuf-Badmus, who made these remarks in a statement in a in Abuja called on the Federal Government to “stop all government employed doctors from establishing private clinics while still in government employment, for the benefit of the citizens.”
The insisted that the striking doctors should be called to order as their incessant strikes are turning out to be gimmick to further divert innocent patients to their private clinics where they (doctors) stand to benefit.
“The government should have a rethink on the undue attention it gives to doctors and do what is right. The government should revert to the era when administrators administered the hospitals/health facilities while health professionals, including doctors do their professional duties that they are being paid for.”
The nurses suggested that all government health workers should have unified salary scales, adding: “the difference should be in the entry/exit points and professional/peculiar allowances of the different cadres of workers.
“This will go a long way in checking and preventing unhealthy rivalry and end to the incessant strike actions that leave the innocent patient in suffering.”
The nurses encouraged patients to attend and patronise the hospitals despite the current strike, for, according to them, is because “other health professionals such as skilled midwives, the accident and emergency (A & E) nurses, intensive care nurses, orthopaedic nurses paediatric nurses, including the medical laboratory scientists, medical record officers, the radiographers, the physiotherapists and pharmacists, are on ground to attend to their health needs, even when the medical practitioners embark on their selfish and illegal strike.”
The association noted that doctors are on strike also as a way of forcing the Federal Government to stop the implementation of agreements and memorandum of understanding reached between JOHESU/APHA and Federal Government spanning between 2009 to date.”
The nurses again condemned what they described as “the unethical behaviour or practice of medical practitioners whereby in-patients are compulsorily discharged against their wish whenever NMA calls for industrial action.
“NMA does this to make it appear to the public and the press that the patients left the hospital because doctors are on strike. The public at large must be made to know that most in-patients are in the hospital for comprehensive healthcare (physical and psychological) and are being taken care of by the nurses and other health professionals, except those that have been booked for surgical procedures or surgical operation.
“The medical practitioner, therefore, has no moral or ethical justification to compulsorily force them (in-patients) out of the hospital to make the hospital empty because doctors are on strike.” [myad]