The Kaduna state branch of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), has asked the Federal Government not to enter any negotiation with the Joint Health Sector Workers Union (JOHESU) over the ongoing strike embarked upon by the union.
Chairman of the association Dr Abdulrahaman Shehu, made this known on Thursday at a news conference in Kaduna, Channels TV reports.
The Kaduna NMA described the group as an illegal and non-professional body which should therefore not be recognised by the government.
According to Shehu, the purpose of the strike is to sabotage the genuine effort of the government towards ensuring a lasting industrial harmony and development of the country’s health sector.
Speaking further, he described the agitation by the health workers for equal salary and rank with medical doctors as laughable and unrealistic.
Shehu, therefore, stated that any attempt by the Federal Government to distort the existing agreement it entered with the medical doctors in 2014 will be resisted by the association.
He also appealed to other healthcare workers in the country to stay within their roles as team players in the nation’s health sector, noting that their quest for headship in any aspect of clinical practice is uncalled for and has only brought untold hardship to patients and their relatives.
His comments come after the health workers had a meeting with the Federal Government on Wednesday night, to bring an end to the strike which has last for about a month.
The meeting which was chaired by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, and Prof Issac Adewole, Minister of Health, was said to have ended abruptly after some aggrieved members stormed out of the conference room.
Meanwhile, some groups have faulted the government for what they described as its failure to act fast and resolve the lingering strike.
One of such is the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who on Tuesday said “the refusal by President Muhammadu Buhari to address the devastating strike action by health workers across the country, is a clear manifestation of insensitivity to the plight and suffering of Nigerians.”
The Party, however, pleaded with the health workers to be more open to ways to solve the problem, so as to “forestall an outbreak of epidemic and health crisis”.