29 January 2013

Nigeria: Doctors Barred From 'Incessant' Strike

Nigerian Medical Association has barred its affiliates and state branches from "indiscriminate and incessant resort to strike actions" in a bid to stem series of industrial actions by doctors and health workers which have plagued hospitals in the country.

NMA's resolution, which comes after its first-ever national health summit, forbids its groups from strike "without clear approval" from its national body, said NMA president Dr Osahon Enabulele.

He announced at a press briefing that the move is to ensure "We clearly are in control and there is due observance of laws of the association and the constitution."

Enabulele explained: "While not denying any group of legitimate right to express themselves in constitutional ways including strikes, we are saying as health care practitioners that are so involved with critical clinical care, we should try as much as possible to engage in constructive dialogue, explore all options and for our own members to ensure the constitutional guidelines for calling strike action is appropriately complied with."

He charged leadership of health institutions to proactively prevent strike in their institutions. Strikes by doctors in various hospitals across the country last year involved dispute over remuneration in most cases--most unknown to the NMA until they were reported in the press.

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