As patients continue to groan in pains and frustrations, following protracted strike by Medical Doctors in public hospitals nationwide, the Nigerian Medical Association has said the strike may not end anytime soon.
The Association in a statement insisted that ending the strike depended on the speedy
implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding it entered into with the government on August 20, by relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
The statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Dr. Aniekeme Uwa in Abuja after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, stated that
“We call on the relevant MDAs of government to expedite action towards ensuring that the demands of all our members as encapsulated in the MoUsigned on 20th Aug. 2021, are implemented.
“I urge the MDAs to implement these demands without any further delay in line with the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, so that our members, who are currently on strike, can return to work”, the NMA said.
The association described as incorrect and mischievous, the allegation by Dr Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, President, National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), that he was side lined from participating in the meeting with President Buhari.
The NMA said that the meeting with the president was to present to him, its newly elected officers , adding that the NMA constitution was not specific on who should be part of the delegation during courtesy visits.
“For clarity, there is no provision in the NMA constitution for who should be in the NMA President’s delegation during courtesy visits. Whoever is part of the delegation is purely at the discretion of the president.
“Therefore, the allegation by the NARD’s President, one of the eight affiliates of the association, that he was side lined is incorrect and mischievous and should be taken with a pinch of salt.
“If insinuations should be made, it should be the other way round as the NARD’s president has consistently failed to carry the parent body along in her critical decision-making processes.
“The visit, though delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was the first by the present NMA National Officers Committee (NOC) since her election on May 30, 2020″, the association further said.
It said that the visit was in line with the tradition of newly elected officers of the association to visit the president of the country after their election.
The association said that “during such visits, the new leadership is introduced to the president and challenges militating against healthcare delivery are discussed with solutions proffered.”
The NMA assured that it would continue to work to enhance the welfare of its members, saying that its work included engaging relevant stakeholders to promote legislation and policies that would create the enabling environment for effective healthcare delivery in Nigeria. The 15-member delegation that visited President Buhari included the NMA president, Prof. Innocent Ujah, members of the NOC, past presidents, Chairman of a Statutory Committee, and members of the National Executive Committee (NEC).