Doctors may start fresh nationwide strike Dec. 14

Semiu Salami
Semiu Salami
Prof. Chukwu, Health Minister

The umbrella body for all medical and dental doctors in the country, the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, said on Wednesday that  its members might commence an indefinite strike on Saturday, December 14.

The association said the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, “should be held responsible for any crisis that could erupt in the health sector.”

The President of NMA, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, in a statement  said the latest threat to commence strike followed an alleged breach of an agreement reached with the Federal Government especially on some health sector challenges, workplace conditions and the conditions of service of doctors.

He recalled that on September 2, 2013, the NMA issued a 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to address the issues tabled before it.

Enabulele said, “On account of the foregoing, it may be difficult to guarantee further extension of the grace period and consequently, industrial harmony in the health sector, especially as the December 14, 2013 deadline issued to the Federal Government to concretely resolve the demands of the NMA draws closer.

“Therefore the NMA most distressingly alerts the entire nation about the imminent collapse of health services across the entire country given the apparent levity and lack of concrete commitment so far exhibited by the government through the Federal Ministry of Health.”

According to Enabulele, efforts by the NMA to engage the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Health “even at this eleventh hour collapsed following the unserious approach and attitude of the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Health, who seem to be less bordered about the potential crisis which may erupt in Nigeria’s health sector from Saturday, December 14, 2013.”

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