Doctors at the University College Hospital Ibadan will join their counterparts across Nigeria to embark on a five-day warning strike.
“For over five months now, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), the umbrella body for all medical and dental practitioners in Nigeria, has recurrently engaged the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Health, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, on issues bordering on some health sector challenges, workplace conditions and the conditions of service of doctors,” the association said in a statement.
It added: “On the 2nd September, 2013 the Nigerian Medical Association issued a 21day ultimatum to the Federal Government of Nigeria to address the issues tabled by NMA.
“However, based on the understanding reached following the intervention of the Honourable Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu CON, the NMA decided to extend her ultimatum by four weeks at her emergency National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held in Abuja on September 22, 2013.
“Following the expiration of the additional four (4) weeks grace granted to the Federal Government, the NMA again magnanimously extended twice the ultimatum on account of the Government’s constitution of a Presidential Committee and promise to speedily resolve the issues contained in the requests of the NMA.
The association said the government only carried out a re-constitution and inauguration of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCAN) but neglected issues about the workplace conditions of the doctors.
It said: “The attention of the government to other issues bordering on workplace conditions and injustice meted out to doctors in their conditions of service and funding/ infrastructural and equipment upgrade of the health sector have not received any significant attention.”
In the statement signed by the president of the association, Dr Osahon Enabulele, it said it cannot extend the grace period any further.
It said: “On account of the foregoing, it may be difficult to guarantee further extension of the grace period and consequently, industrial harmony in the health sector, especially as the December 14, 2013 deadline issued to the Federal Government to concretely resolve the demands of the NMA draws closer.”
It stated further that the leadership of the federal ministry of health is not serious with efforts aimed at averting the strike and urged citizens to blame the ministry for the aftermath of the industrial action.
“Efforts by the NMA to engage the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Health even at this eleventh hour collapsed following the unserious approach and attitude of the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Health who seem to be less bordered about the potential crisis which may erupt in Nigeria’s health sector from Wednesday, December 18, 2013.