The health workers under the aegis of the Edo state chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) have said that they would begin a three-day warning strike from November 10, 2017, over the failure of the government to fix “problems” confronting the health sector.
According to the Association, the warning strike follows expiration of the 21 days ultimatum issued to the state government to fix the problems confronting the sector.
PM News quoted the NMA as saying that the warning strike would afterwards lead to shutdown of the health sector in the state.
Rising from an emergency meeting, the State Secretary of the NMA, Dr. Harrison Omokhua, told reporters that:
“The issues we are talking about is the state of health facilities in government hospitals, lack of man power, none employment of health workers in government hospitals since 2012 and inadequate facilities.”
“We also need explanation about plans for the new hospital that was built by the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole administration, because it is not being used when we are lacking facilities.
“We have tried to see how we can get the governor to discuss the issues but no response. So we are commencing a warning strike from Friday 10th November,” Omokhua added.
Meanwhile, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. David Osifo, however, accused the NMA of being hasty in issuing ultimatum, noting that government has identified the problems in the sector and is confronting them head on.
Osifo said: “It is not true that government has not done anything. I invited them for a meeting shortly after they issued the ultimatum and I told them they were too hasty that we should have discussed before they issue ultimatum. I am also a doctor, and I am a member of NMA, so I know the problems.
“Yes, we have some challenges and government has already started tackling them before they issued their ultimatum. I displayed to them the plans of government in the health sector and they were very impressed after the meeting.
“We are aware of the problem of under staffing because for the past 10 years, no employment in that sector, but we are making effort to correct those anomalies.
“A committee has been set up to collate all dilapidated structures in the health sector and fix them. This government is just one year in office and we already have the blue print of what to do and work will commence soonest.”