The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) on Friday asked the Federal Government to immediately withdraw the circular directing Chief Medical Directors and Medical Directors of Federal Tertiary Hospitals to employ doctors who would replace resident doctors who are currently on a warning strike.
The directive came 24 hours after the commencement of one week warning strike by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).
The government’s directive to replace striking NARD members was contained in a circular with Ref. No. DHS/828/T/199 dated January 19, 2017 issued by the Director of Health Services in the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Wapada Balami.
However, the NMA in a statement by its President, Prof. Mike Ogirima and Secretary-General, Dr. Yusuf Tanko Sununu, urged the Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, to rescind the decision in the interest of the health sector.
“The NMA calls on the Minister to urgently and decisively deal with the saboteurs of government policies within the Federal Ministry of Health,” the statement read.
“We advise Nigerians to prevail on officials of the Federal Ministry of Health not to further jeopardise the health of Nigerians already burdened with the biting economic recession.
“While still looking forward to an amicable resolution of the germane issues raised, the NMA demands an immediate withdrawal of the threat as contained in circular no. DHS/828/T/199 of January 19, 2017 issued by the Director of Health Services of the Federal Ministry of Health to Chief Medical Directors and Medical Directors of Federal Tertiary Hospitals to employ temporary doctors to replace the members of NARD who are currently on a warning strike action to press home their unmet demands.”