Medical doctors have issued a notice of strike to the Federal Government.
The doctors, under the umbrella body of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), warned of impending strike should the Federal Government accede to some of the demands of striking health workers.
The latest threat may compound the crisis in the sector as a result of the ongoing strike by the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU), which has been extended to the states and local councils.
In a statement yesterday, NMA noted that it opposed any adjustment in salary that could lead to parity between the doctors and other health professionals.
The statement, which was signed by the association’s President, Dr. Francis Faduyile and Secretary General Dr. Olumuyiwa Odusote, warned of grievous implication of acceding to any demand that violates collective agreement.
The statement added: “The NMA painfully wishes to inform the Federal Government that any award to the non-medically qualified health professionals that violates the January and July agreements of 2014 shall result in the resumption of the suspended withdrawal of service. Please take this as a notice sir.”
The latest development, NMA stated, was as a result of the latest extension of the strike action of JOHESU to states and local councils.
The union stressed that it opposed any adjustment in salary scale that would result into parity between the doctors and healthcare professionals.
“NMA wishes to again remind government of the implications of acceding to any demand that violates the collective bargaining agreement of January 2014. Government should take this as a further reminder of the previous notice of April 21, 2018.”
But support activities at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, were yesterday grounded as JOHESU members joined the strike embarked upon by their counterparts in federal hospitals.
The national body of JOHESU, on Wednesday, ordered its members in the states and local governments to join the strike.
A visit to one of the busiest hospitals in Lagos revealed total compliance as the support staff of the institution practically stayed away from work.
A visit to the departments such as Haematology, Peadiatrics and the administrative complexes shows that the support workers totally complied with the order.
However, the Chairman, ad hoc Committee on Health, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr. Olusegun Olulade, who visited the hospital, declined to comment on the industrial dispute.
On the strike, the Director of Clinical Services, LASUTH, Dr. Adeolu Adedokun, said the industrial dispute was not between the hospital and the striking workers but a directive from their national body.
There was a drama in Eku, Ethiope East Local Government Areas, Delta State, yesterday as some health workers under the auspices of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU), stormed a government hospital in the area.
The JOHESU members evicted doctors and patients and later locked the hospital.
The Nation gathered the members of the union, drove to the hospital in a White Bus on high speed, went into the hospital and ordered health workers from attending to patients.
It was gathered that the patients and some of their family members, who had come to visit their loved ones, were evicted from the hospital as they watched helplessly despite their pleas to the union members.
In Oyo State, activities in hospitals were paralysed yesterday by the indefinite strike.
As early as 7am yesterday, leaders of the union chased their colleagues out of the Oyo State General Hospital, Yemetu, Ibadan, as well as other branches.
The action forced many patients, who had come for medical attention to seek service elsewhere. The General Hospital, Oyo was also deserted by the striking workers.
The Chairman of the Oyo State branch of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, which is also a member of JOHESU, Comrade Ademola Babalola, told reporters that the strike was indefinite.
He said: “If the Federal Government accedes to the demands of the federal workers, leaving ours unattended to, the problem will still remain.”
Babalola explained that his union at the state and local government levels was demanding some welfare packages and administrative streamlining, which the state government had failed to address for years.
The demands, he said, are different from those of JOHESU at the national level.