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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

NMA criminalizes strike in health sector



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The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) is to sanction appropriately, any affiliate or group or state/ FCT branch of the association who embark on any strike action without clear approval from the national body.

Addressing newsmen yesterday in Abuja, the president of the NMA, Dr Osahon Enabulele, said this was one of the highlights of the communiqué arising from the recently held National Summit in Asaba.

According to him, the summit took a critical look at the alleged indiscriminate and incessant resort to strike actions by medical and health workers and resolved that henceforth, besides seeking approval, the affiliate or group or state/FCT should, where such strikes are extremely unavoidable after exploring all options at constructive dialogue, conform to extant laws and the provisions of code of medical ethics.

Enabulele, reading from the summit’s communiqué, said the summit charged the leadership of the various health institutions to proactively prevent strike actions in their institutions.”

He also lamented that negative news by media outfits has contributed to the blacklisting of the Nigerian medical schools and their graduates by foreign medical bodies.

The NMA president who called for a review of the Nigeria’s health system, said the summit observed that despite efforts being made by the current leadership, Nigeria’s health system was yet to meet the aspirations and expectations of Nigerians.

“This, the summit further noted was traceable to several factors, including poor funding of the health sector, weak primary and secondary healthcare systems with poor coordination occasioned by an ineffective and inefficient referral system, absence of a legal framework for health, poor access to healthcare facilities and packages by Nigerians, medical tourism etc”

According to him, convinced that universal health coverage is critical to significant improvement by the health of Nigerians, the summit harped on the need to accelerate all actions geared towards creating universal health coverage for all Nigerians.

He said consequently, the summit resolved that efforts be stepped up at collaborating with all tiers and levels of government in the formulation of practicable policies and plans aimed at ensuring that every Nigerian, irrespective of place of abode or status, has access to affordable healthcare.

Among others, the summit advocated the need to speedily pass the National Health Bill and anact a National Health Act to allow for the utilization of the 2 per cent of the consolidated revenue fund provided in the National Health Bill to strengthen Primary Healthcare and boost access to healthcare facilities by Nigerians in rural communities.

Enabulele also told newsmen that the summit called on Nigerians to always look inwards as exemplified by the Governor of Kogi State, Capt Idris Wada for solutions to their medical problems as Nigeria is blessed with medical experts in virtually all fields of medicine.

He added, “the summit also advised health practitioners who for reasons of financial returns have perfected the habit of referring patients abroad through commissioned agents to desist from the act while offering to assist embassies in the scrutiny of referral forms.”


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