Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has condemned the constant use of strike action by medical practitioners as a weapon of negotiation.
Oshiomhole who spoke at the First National Health Summit organized by the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in Asaba, Delta State said Government and the NMA need to interact more for peace to reign in the health sector.
”l am not a stranger to NMA. I have interacted with NMA as a union leader but also now as a steward in Government House. Therefore I have seen it from all sides. I was happy when I read through the programme, I saw that the oaths that the doctors subscribe to, the mission statement and the vision are all there. And I then asked myself if these things are binding, then some doctors have to be arraigned for conviction because they have breached that oath severally and serially” the governor added.
Comrade Oshiomhole advised that, “this conference must address those issues of commitment. There is no reason why a doctor should abandon an accident victim on account of the fact that his allowances have not been paid. Right now I have the privilege of having a daughter who is a doctor and she told me that in the US, it borders on treason for a doctor on account of dispute or remuneration to allow patients to die.”
According to him, the NMA must reinvent those old values that life is more precious than naira and kobo because allowances can always be paid but life lost cannot be reinvented.
“I feel some time that doctor’s rush a little bit too quickly to a strike action. I think in using that weapon to abstain from delivering healthcare we must ask ourselves if that was the only option or appropriate decision at the time,” he added.
The Governor argued that Nigeria must remain a federal state adding that the less powers Abuja has the healthier Nigeria will be.
“In amending the constitution we must devote more powers to the state, let states formulate policies on the basis of their own experiences and not one-drug-fits-all that is prescribed from Abuja,” Oshiomhole noted.
The Minister for Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu earlier delivered a key note address at the summit which has as its theme, “Repositioning the medical Profession and the Nigeria Health System for National Development,” and while declaring the Summit open, the President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, assured the NMA of the National Assembly’s support in its determination to improve healthcare in the country.