18 December 2012

Nigeria: NMA - Health Workers Protest Politically-Motivated

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) yesterday threw its weight behind the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu over last week's protest in which the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) called for to be sacked, saying it was politically-motivated.

The protesters had alleged bias against the minister whom they accused of always supporting doctors against other health workers.

The NMA President, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, claimed that the health workers were being used to hamper the passage of the bill.

The group appealed to the National Assembly not to be deterred in their quest to give a National Health Bill to Nigerians in line with international best practice.

"NEC views the politically-motivated protest march as an act of desperation and blackmail to undermine the strong resolve of the Minister of Health to transform Nigeria's healthcare sector through the institutionalisation of professionalism and international best practices," he said.

He stated further: "NEC also noted that the protest march was an attempt to scuttle, once again, the passage of the National Health Bill (NHB) through acts of intimidation and blackmail of the National Assembly that has so far courageously refused to politicise the National Health Bill by not accommodating their inordinate, illogical, irrational and unrealizable territorial quest."

He then urged Nigerians to determine if the "selfish protection of professional territorial interests" outweighed the benefits of a National Health Act that would deliver healthcare dividends to Nigerians in rural communities, children, women, the elderly and all Nigerians.

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