Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, GCFR
GIRDING OUR LOINS FOR PROFESSIONAL SURVIVAL
Recent events have compelled a need to write your excellency. In the last few weeks our sensibilities as healthcare workers has been traumatized by doctors who have more affinity for strikes than to save lives. Government appears to have wittingly nursingworldnigeria.com compounded the situation by conceding priviledges to one profession, while refusing to implement valid court orders in favour of other health professions.
We shall contextualize this memo undr the following sub heads to enable you appreciate the issues at hand:
1) POST OF SURGEON-GENERAL IN NIGERIA
2) skiping of CONHESS 10
3) Consultancy status for healthcare providers
4) Implementation of agreements signed with government since 2009
5) The national health bill
6) amendment of act 10 of 1985
7) National health insurance scheme
8) double salary for honorary consultants
9) Appointment of health minister
10) Participation in national institute of policy and strategic studies kuru managment course
11) representatives on national dialogue
1) immediate circularization of the approval of consultancy status for some cadres of health workers and payment of the arrears of all honorary consultants appointed by the boards of management of hospitals which were arbitrarily stopped on the directive of the minister of health. This is in line with due process as dictated by the pronouncment of the national industrial court in july 2003 and the subsequent agreement of the representatives of JOHESU and other representatives of professional bodies in the health sector in august 2013
2) The release of official circulars to enforce the decision of national industrial court that some cadres of the health workforce be legitimately allowed to skip CONHESS 10. The federal government/ presidency must subsequently direct the boards of management of all hospitals to enforce this directive in their domains
3) A presidential directive compelling the National salary and wages commission to negotiatie and approve reasonable and respectable allowances as well as emoluments for health workers in nigeria.
4) An unconditional halt to the appointment of a surgeon general for the federation as the concept remains both unconstitutional and outrightly unlawful. Government is advised to remember the consequences of the unlawful Medical salary scale of the nineties which is the precursor of the industrial disharmony in public service where different cadres of workers agitate for discriminatory and exclusive wages. The move to appoint a surgeon general will lead to demands for such by all cadres of workers and therefore makes government more vulnerable to strikes and shut downs in the months ahead.
5) In view of parlours state of our health, government must redress the other areas of injustice in the health sector once and for all. This will include:
a) Amendment of the extremely obnoxious decree 10 of 1985 which laid the foundation for oppression in the health sector through appointment unduly skewed in favor of Nigeria doctors contrary to international best practices through an executive bill.
b) redressing the extremely wretched output of the national insurance scheme which has provided cover for less than 3% of the citizenry in 15 years under the poor management styles of doctors who have been appointed executive secretaries int he last 8 years.specifically, government must lawfully implement payment mechanisms for health care staff by doing away with global capitation and capitating only primary care centers for the dreaqm of universal coverage to see the light of day.
c) an immediate evaluation of the draft national health bill through an outright deletion of the potentially dangerous section 1(1) which provides that a national health system will regulate and control all the health profession". This provision is in conflict with existing provisions in all the enabling acts that regulates the plethora of health professions in Nigeria. It is an obvious booby trap to subordinate other health professions to medicine and therefore remains unacceptable to the generality of care providers.
The unconstitutional provision in section 9 of the draft bill which vests the headship of the proposed national standards committee of tertiary hospitals on the director of hospital services at the federal ministry of health negates the spirit of any reform agenda which is usually for a departure from the status quo. it is also a breach of section 42 of the federal constitution which forbids a denial of a privilege that can be enjoyed by a citizen of Nigeria on the basis of sexual, social, religious or related affiliation.
6) Rejuvenation of a well funded and properly positioned presidential committee of experts on harmony in the health sector for a permanent and equitable structure in the privileges of all care providers in Nigeria
7) A commitment that your excellency will no longer appoint the two ministers i charge of the federal ministry of health from only one profession in a multidisciplinary sector as witnessed in the present dispensation. The imbalance in the headship of the federal ministry of health has encouraged impunity ad infinitous in the last few years.
8) Privatization of medical services to free funds for capital expenditure especially research and development in health sector.
9) A presidential intervention to regularize the participation of health professional bodies and sector unions in the senior management courses of the NIPSS, kuru as was the practice hitherto.
10) Nomination of representatives of health professional bodies to participate in the national dialogue/constitutional reforms planned for February, 2014
It has become imperative to declare on this unique occasion that care providers in Nigeria will not surrender their inalienable right to liberty, fairness, equity and justice under whatever circumstance. No one will be allowed to ride on us roughshod in the health sector, be they elected or appointed representative of Nigerians or any component of the health sector which we subscribe to will be all allowed the luxury of misadventure to perpetuate tyranny and unwholesome dominion in our sector anymore.
consequent upon this the assembly of healthcare professionals of nigeria and joint health sector unions in league after appraising all its options painfully directs all its members to proceed on a 5 day warning strike from wednesday january 15th to friday january 21st 2014 to enable government led personally by your excellency redress through constructive dialogue its prayer/ grievances as reflected in this position paper which shall be made available to government. The condition precedent to dialogue with your excellency is a minimum conditionality which is also non negotiable as the president who is the father of the nation must be willing to gie all his children a listening ear in a conflict that continues to fester as a rotten and infected wound because the future of care providers in Nigeria can no longer be left with presidential aides who find it difficult to disguise their affection for the interest of only one profession in a multidisciplinary sector.
In the event that your excellency does not enter into meaningful nursingworldnigeria.com dialogue within two weeks of this notice, we shall be left with no option than to commence a more excruciating and total nationwide strike to enforce our liberties.
We call on all men of goodwill to admonish government on the need to urgently redress this avoidable crisis it has also assisted to worsen.
Finally, we urge all our colleagues and comrades to stand up to be counted as we resist the flagrant assalut on the soul of our professional callings.
Thank you very much, your excellency.
Olumide Akintayo FPSN, FNIM. President Pharmaceutical society of Nigeria
comrade Wabba Ayuba MNI, Chairman, joint health sector unions
Mr. abdulrafiu Adeniji President, NANNM
DR.G.C.Okara President, AMLSN ^ AHPA
Mr.taiwo Oyewumi President, Nigerian society of physiotherapy
dr Mark Okeji, president, Association of Radiographers of Nigeria
Mr Wole Ajayi, President, Health information managers association of Nigeria
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