By Doyin Ojosipe
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has given the federal government a 14 day ultimatum to either meet all its needs without which will result to an indefinite strike by Nigerian medical doctors.
In a press briefing on Friday, the Associations President, Doctor Kayode Obembe had accused the federal government of trying to rubbish the profession by introducing methods that could cause anarchy in the system.
Dr. Kayode had called on the federal government to live up to the agreement reached last year and put the vital issues discussed in order so the doctors could have the freedom to work as the profession demands.
He lamented the poor welfare of doctors and asked the Federal Government to make amendments, adding that doctors also needed an increase in salary as other civil servants who enjoy such privilege.
The association had also called on federal government to pay up the outstanding salaries of their members at Federal Medical Centre Owerri as promised on 21st October, 2013.
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) also decried the ill-treatment meted out to its members at some hospitals by some consultants, who, according to them, were never trained or educated as doctors. They further demanded that a non-doctor as related to field of study should not bear the tittle ‘consultant’ as only the doctor owns the patient and should be regarded thus.
According to him “The tittle ‘consultant’, in a hospital setting describes the relationship between the specialist Medical doctor and his patient. It will be a source of confusion if the title is applied to any other health worker who statutorily does not own patient.
“The NMA, therefore, declares with unmitigated emphasis that if ‘non-doctor consultants’ are appointed, it will lead to chaos and anarchy in the heath sector. This should not happen.”
The Association further demanded that National Health Bill be quickly passed into law and to extend the universal health coverage to cover all Nigerians rather than some 30% of Nigerians as is the current case.
Among their demand is the appointment of a Surgeon-General with immediate effect.
It also appealed to Nigerians to understand with the doctors who are not well cared for and to call on the federal government to meet their demands, in order to avoid an indefinite strike.