The ongoing strike by the Nigeria Medical Association will soon be over as talks are ongoing between the Federal Government and the association to put an end to this action that has led to untold sufferings of patients across the nation.
This was revealed on Friday at the Government House, Asaba, by the Delta State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, during an interview session with newsmen.
Dr Uduaghan revealed that a meeting of some elders of the medical profession and Government representatives held in Abuja on Thursday night.
He gave assurance that some of the pressing issues were addressed and resolved at the meeting and by the end of the week, the strike would be called off.
Present at the meeting were the Delta State Governor; the Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa; Dr Doyin Okupe, the Health Minister, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu; Minister for Labour and Productivity, Emeka Wogu; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Dr Anyim Pius Anyim and members of the medical association.
Governor Uduaghan, while admitting that there were indeed challenges in the health sector, urged medical professionals to be weary of strike which does more harm than good, because every life lost during the period of strike cannot be brought back.
The Federal Government has also corroborated the claim by saying that the nationwide doctors’ strike may be called off next Monday, following the Thursday meeting between the leadership of the NMA and representatives of Government.
The Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, disclosed that a Memorandum of Understanding was signed at the end of the 10-hour meeting between the two parties.
The chairman, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) Rivers State, Dr. Ibitrokoemi Korubo, says doctors are allowed to attend to critically ill patients in different hospitals and in areas where bomb blast occurred despite the ongoing strike of the association.
He stated that doctors had been mobilised to attend to the victims in those areas and were also advised not to accept patients who are not in critical states for their own interest. He said that the aim was to avoid distrust of the doctors, further stating that the ongoing nationwide doctor’s strike is a recommencement of the warning strike which was held in November 2013.
He said that in the last 22 years, the association had been trying to talk to the Federal Government on their expectations in terms of challenges and welfare.
He further explain that the strike was a difficult decision the association had to take, stressing that the association is still in talks with the government.
Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Dr. Korubo further explained that during an initial warning strike in November 2013, the association divided their demands into two parts. “The first part is infrastructure demands and the second part is improving allocation to health workers,” the doctor said.
He said that the government was focusing on implementation of other things that were not as necessary as our demand.
“Hospitals are not designed for politics but to deliver healthcare to the patients,” he stressed.
Commenting further on the reason for the strike, he insisted that part of the reasons for the strike was the lingering issues in the health system which had also involved the government and further called on the government for a prompt solution.