The strike continues: Nigerian doctors’ National Executive Committee meeting ends in deadlock

by Oke Efagene

Health Minister, Onyebuchi Chukwu
Health Minister, Onyebuchi Chukwu

The National Executive Council (NEC) of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), has decided to continue with the ongoing nationwide strike by its members.

The resolution was made after several hours of deliberation in a meeting that began yesterday evening in Abuja, and ended at 4 am today.

The NMA began its nationwide strike on Wednesday, December 18, after a 21-day ultimatum issued to the Federal Government on September 2, 2013, to address the issues tabled by the association.

Premium Times reports:

After its meeting with representatives of the Federal Government on Tuesday December 17, in which a promisory note was handed the NMA by the FG, the group of doctors had said its NEC had to meet to decide on the suspension or continuation of the industrial action.

But in an interview with newsmen early Friday, after the meeting, the NMA President Dr. Osahon Enabulele, said, “Yes, we finished the National Executive Council meeting at 4 a.m. this morning. NEC resolved to continue with the strike action.

“They were not satisfied with the failure of government to concretely resolve the issues. The warning strike will end at 8 a.m. on Monday.

“Full blown strike will proceed from January 6,2014″.

Doctors all over the country withdrew their services Wednesday, December 18, over government’s failure to implement agreements reached with them on issues relating to condition of service and development of the health sector.

The strike would be called off on Monday because of the yuletide but would resumed afterwards if government fails to meet the conditions spelt out by the doctors, officials said.

Already, public hospitals all over the country are grounded, with patients feeling the brunt.

Emergency wards of hospitals are however open to attend to emergencies.

In a related development, President, National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, Dr Jibril Abdullahi, has reacted to a comment by the Special Assistant on Media to the Minister of Health, Dan Nwomeh, describing the doctors’ strike as ‘politics of selfishness’.

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