23 December 2013

Nigeria: Doctors End Strike, Resume Duty Today

President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Osahon Enabulele, yesterday said doctors in public hospitals would end their five-day warning strike and resume duty today.

Enabulele, in a statement in Lagos, said all doctors in the public health sector would resume full services with effect from 8 a.m. on December 23. The NMA had on December 15 directed its members to embark on the nationwide strike.

The action was to protest against the doctors' poor working conditions, inadequate funding, and poor infrastructure in the nation's health sector. "NMA wishes to inform the general public that doctors in the public health sector will resume services from December 23.

"This is in line with our earlier promise to give prime consideration to the Yuletide season in the prosecution of our warning strike. "Also, to give another opportunity for the federal government to concretely resolve all the demands of NMA for which it first issued a 21-day ultimatum on September 2," he said.

According an online news medium, Freedom Online, Enabulele called on the federal government to ensure that the demands of doctors were met. "Nigerian doctors shall not hesitate to commence a full blown strike from 8 a.m. on January 6, 2014, if government does not satisfactorily resolve the demands of doctors.

"We fervently call on all well-meaning Nigerians to assist in the resolution of the demands of the NMA," the statement.

The demand includes appropriate funding of Nigeria's healthcare system, expansion of universal health coverage to cover all Nigerians and health infrastructure upgrade.

Activities in all the government-owned hospitals nationwide were paralysed during the five-day strike by medical doctors. In Lagos, the strike paralysed activities in all the facilities as consultants and resident doctors were unavailable to attend to hundreds of patients who thronged the hospitals.

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