Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Ogun State branch, has slammed the national body of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) for directing states and local government health workers to join the ongoing strike
The Association stated this, on Tuesday, in a statement signed by the acting Chairman, Abikoye Peters, and made available to newsmen, in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
The statement noted that strike in the health industry is associated with irreparable loss of lives, describing JOHESU’s nationwide strike as “ill-guided, anti-doctor, anti-patient and anti-institution”.
While observing the striking Union’s demands are “unlawful”, the Association said strike should remain instrument of bargaining when all other means of getting attention has failed, rather than means of wrecking havoc, especially where human lives are at stake.
“Strikes should be an instrument of bargaining when all other means of getting attention has failed. When a union is pushed into calling strike, the above qualities should be the guiding principles. A union whose headship is boasting of wrecking havoc with strike has failed to demonstrate empathy and are far beyond the bounds of true patriotism.
“Directing states and local government health workers to join the strike calls for concern especially in estimating the real motive behind the exercise. Strike in the health industry is associated with irreparable loss of lives. On its merit, this is enough to call for caution while the strike lasts”, Abikoye stated in the statement.
The Association, however, urged governments at all levels, to be well guided in managing labour crises and guard against being stampeded or blackmailed into taking decision capable of precipitating more crises.
It equally, reiterated that Ogun NMA members are not on strike, adding “all hospitals are open to all patients across Ogun State and doctors are available to attend to their clients promptly”.
“We identify with every family and home who had been negatively impacted by the on going strike. We are not against any cadre of worker agitating for their due pay, but we maintain JOHESU’s strike is adding no value to patients’ care neither is it adding any improvement to the facilities”.
“We plead that heads of hospitals and their management team should give all the necessary support, assistance and backups to the doctors at their respective duty posts while mitigating the effect of the on-going strike”. The acting chairman submitted.