While Nigerians are still smarting from the ASUU strike and which is yet to be called off,another strike looms as the Nigerian Medical Association,NMA,yesterday announced that the union will be embarking on a nationwide strike on wednesday the 18thDe,2013.
The association blamed what it described as the unserious posture of the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Health to its demands for the decision to go on strike. The NMA communiqué issued after its 2013 National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Minna, Niger State, showed that doctors have been directed to stop work by Wednesday.
The communiqué signed by the national president, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, also contained the decision of the doctors to stay off work until the agreement reached with government is implemented.
The NMA had held meetings with the Ministry of Health, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), on issues bothering on some health sector challenges, workplace conditions and the conditions of service of doctors.
By September 2, 2013, the association issued a 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to address the issues tabled by NMA. However, based on an understanding reached following the intervention of the Minister of Labour and Productivity, the NMA extended its ultimatum by four weeks at her emergency NEC meeting in Abuja.
The communiqué read in part: “The association noted that her patriotic efforts to further engage the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Health, following the invitation of the minister to a meeting, even at the 11th hour but which collapsed following the unserious attitude of the leadership of the ministry of who seem less bothered about the potential crisis that was bound to erupt from Saturday, December 14, 2013.
“In recognition of the extremely poor progress in the resolution of the demands of the NMA, and following the expiration of her last ultimatum issued to the Federal Government, which expired on Saturday, December 14, 2013, the NMA is constrained to declare an industrial action with effect from Wednesday, December 18, 2013. Accordingly, doctors in public health institutions shall withdraw their services with effect from 8am on Wednesday, December 18, 2013.”