…as they demand for Surgeon General again
In what look like the mother of all battle, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) on Thursday issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to stop all the demands made by JOHESU and honor their own or face to an indefinite strike from July 1.
This was made known by the NMA President, Dr Kayode Obembe during a press briefing in Abuja. In a letter which he gave to Journalists and obtained by Elombah.com and addressed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim, for delivery to President Goodluck Jonathan. The letter was also copied to the Senate President, National Assembly Speaker, Minister of labor and productivity, Minister of health and several others. The NMA asked the FG for The letter appointment of four Deputy Chairmen, Medical Advisory Committee for Teaching Hospitals and three for Federal Medical Centres. He stated that the deputy chairmen would assist the Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee, whose statutory responsibilities were too heavy for an individual to handle.
According to Obembe, the demands of other medical workers to be appointed directors in the hospital is illegal and not in line with the act that set up teaching hospitals, as it causes anarchy and leads to distortion in the chain of commands as well as exposing patients to conflicting treatment..
He also stated that “The position of a Chief Medical Director must be occupied by a medical doctor as contained in the Act establishing the tertiary hospitals. The title of consultant should be accorded medical doctors, who are specialist and not to be occupied by anybody who is a non- doctor consultant. If this happens, it will lead to chaos and anarchy in the health sector”.
The letter also demanded that its members skip Grade level 12 and should be reintegrated back into the IPPIS scheme, increase in duty and specialist allowances, among others. “Much as we are not against salary increase for any category of workers, either in health or elsewhere, the NMA demands for immediate adjustment of the doctors’ salary. This will ensure the relativity as agreed.
They also demanded “Speedy passage of the National Health Bill, a budget for residency training programme, appointment of a Surgeon General of the Federation and security for doctors and universal health coverage, among others”.
They threatened the FG with an indefinite strike if their demands are not met within 14 days., stating that “In the light of the foregoing, therefore, the NMA hereby gives the government 14 days to meet all her demands as stated above. Anything contrary will see the NMA calling out its members for a resumption of the total and indefinite withdrawal of services suspended on Jan. 5. The NMA is taking this painful route because our silence and gentle approach to these contending issues have been taken for granted,’’
The letter was signed by the National President, Obembe and the Secretary-General, Dr Adewumi Alayaki