The Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, yesterday, threatened a showdown with the Federal Government should it “succumb to blackmail and intimidation” from health workers, who embarked on strike on Thursday.
NMA said this in a statement signed by its President, Dr. Osahon Enabulele. The association said although, it had nothing against the right of any group or individual to determine how best to achieve its objectives, it however affirms that no group or union has monopoly over the use of strike in seeking the actualisation of its objectives.
“Therefore, the NMA shall not hesitate to use similar means if government fails to uphold the Rule of Law and succumbs to blackmail and intimidation. “We pledge greater commitment to the health of Nigerians and insist on the enthronement of professionalism and international best practices, and not emotions as means to bring about lasting peace in the health sector,” the association said.
It however commended its members across the states, whom it said were always available at their duty post. “For the record, we wish to inform the public that the public hospitals have remained open for consultation with their doctors who are very committed to ensuring their good health at all times.
Nigerians with health challenges should therefore, feel free to visit the public hospitals to patiently consult their doctors in the Outpatient departments, Accident and Emergency Units, laboratory, Antenatal clinic, and other departments of public hospitals. “The Labour wards in the public hospitals have remained open and pregnant women in labour are being delivered by doctors.
“Nigerians seeking healthcare should note that doctors do not mill around the hospital gates or in the open compound but can be found providing healthcare services in clinics, wards, theatres and other clinical service delivery points in the hospital.
“We call on Nigerians visiting our hospitals to ask for their doctors and avoid being misdirected. Our main concern is that no life should be unnecessarily lost as a result of the on-going strike. “We place on record the treatment offered to one of the striking allied health workers last Friday, at the National Hospital Abuja, following her involvement in a near fatal road traffic accident. We had her life saved by compassionate doctors on duty.
“We therefore praise the efforts of our doctors and other compassionate allied health workers who, last week, despite the challenges of the Nigerian environment, successfully conducted delicate medical and surgical procedures (including brain surgeries and caesarean operations) in various hospitals across the country, particularly at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, NAUTH, Nnewi, University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, UNTH, and the National Hospital Abuja,” NMA said.
While it urged the striking workers to embrace constructive avenues to resolve their demand, the association declared that all public health institutions are ready to provide optimal care to individuals with health challenges all round the clock.
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