Worried by the indefinite strike embarked on by Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP) in some Federal Government-owned hospitals, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has urged the government to release the White Paper on the Yayale Ahmed Committee Report in order to ensure industrial harmony in the health sector.
National President of the association, Dr Kayode Obembe, disclosed this in Ibadan yesterday while reading to journalists the communique issued at the end of the 55th Annual General Conference/Delegates Meeting, held in Ibadan from May 17 to 24.
The conference was tagged: The Nigerian Health Sector: Current Trends, Burning Issues and What the Future Holds.
The communiqué read in part: “For industrial harmony in the health sector, we appeal to the Federal Government to release the White Paper on the Yayale Ahmed Committee Report. We sincerely believe and hope the work these experts did will not be allowed to gather dust.
“The release of the White Paper on Yayale Ahmed Report will greatly enhance industrial harmony and quality of healthcare in Nigeria, as the roles, and responsibilities of all professions will be clearly defined and strictly regulated by the various regulating bodies.”
The doctors described the strike as an attempt to purportedly ambush and hold the in-coming administration of Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) hostage as they allegedly did to the out-going administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.
“We also condemn situations where these workers, each time they embark on strike, lock-up offices, theatres, laboratories, and vandalise power generating systems and water supply, and tamper with oxygen supply systems to patients in critical conditions, including pre-mature and newborn babies, all in efforts to impede doctors from continuing to render services during their ill-motivated strike.
Obembe appealed to government to treat the alleged unbridled acts as genocidal and crime against humanity and bring the culprits to book accordingly, adding that the main goal of the allied health workers has to do with “clearly agitation for undeserving power and financial enrichment to the detriment of the lives of patients.”
The NMA also blamed the governments for the recurring crises in the health sector for its purported failure to be decisive and realistic in dealing with the inordinate ambitions and self-serving demands, urging governments to act like true employers.
The conference also condemned increasing waves of kidnapping of doctors across the country and the unabated influx of foreign doctors into Nigeria to take up positions, particularly in state hospitals at the expense of indigenous competencies. The conference was also dismayed with some states that have been unable to pay the salaries of doctors in their employment.