The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, has commenced a total and indefinite nationwide strike action to press home its demands on the Federal Government which includes passage of the National Health Bill and providing security for doctors, among others.
The NMA President, Kayode Obembe, said at a news conference in Abuja, that the strike action comes as a last resort following the expiration of a two-week ultimatum given to the federal government to meet its 24-point demand and other failed negotiations between it and the government team.
Obembe, said the association was taking the step to save the health care delivery system from total collapse and anarchy. He also sought for the understanding of Nigerians.
The NMA president read out an open letter addressed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Ayim Pius Ayim, in which the association reiterated the 24 issues it wanted the government to address.
The letter titled “Minimum End Point for Restoration of Sustainable Sanity in Patient Care in Nigerian Hospitals” was jointly signed by Obembe, the NMA secretary-general, Adewumi Alayaki, and all heads of its affiliate bodies.
Some other major issues of contention include reserving the position of Chief Medical Director to only medical doctors, appointment of a Surgeon General of the Federation, increase in duty, hazard and specialist allowances, as well as budget for residency training programmes. Also, reintegration of its members into the IPPIS platform was amongst the demands.