Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) in Oyo said that the current JOHESU strike should not be allowed to enthrone illegality at the expense of the health of Nigerians and the country.
Chairman, NMA Oyo, Dr Mojisola Atalabi, at a press conference in Ibadan on Wednesday, said the union, pooling out even its senior members was against all the creed and decency expected of health workers.
Atalabi, flagged the association’s Vice Chairman, NMA, Dr Fasasi; incoming National, President Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors, Dr Segun Olaopa, Chairman, Medical Women Association of Nigeria, Dr Hannah Adegbola-Dada and others, said strike had almost crippled “emergency corridor” often left open in health sector’s industrial disputes but for efforts of medical doctors.
Dr Atalabi, saying that acceding to some of JOHESU’s demands portends ill-wind for the healthcare of Nigerians, said that the relativity in salaries that JOHESU was demanding is sacrosanct in health worker’s emoluments.
“If this demand is granted, it will be an ignominious first in the world with damaging implications for recruitments of the best minds in the medical profession,” she said.
While saying that it was absurd for all allied healthcare professionals to agitate for being appointed “consultant”, she said using the same terminology “consultant” for other healthcare workers will only bring about confusion in the health sector rather than improve patient’s care, the basis for setting up health institutions.
“The consultant in the hospital setting has the onerous responsibility of having the patient register under his/her name and has the responsibility of directing the healthcare team to provide optimum care for the patient.
“The demand can only be justified by envy or perhaps a wrong notion that being called a consultant may qualify them to be appointed the head of the hospitals and confuse the populace to think that they are medical doctors,” she added.
Dr Atalabi, however, cautioned leadership of JOHESU to stop “this war of acrimony and inferiority complex. No amount of intimidation and blackmail can make an unreasonable demand reasonable.”
However, she said NMA was always ready for collective bargaining on any issue that borders on industrial harmony and conditions of service for professionals in the health sector as agreed with the Federal Government since 2014.
She reiterated that Oyo NMA members were not on strike, urging members of the public that are sick to patronise government hospitals as before since services are still ongoing in these hospitals.