Jos — The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has warned Joint Health Section Union (JOHESU) to refrain from harassing doctors or other health workers willing to work for the benefit of humanity.
NMA gave the warning weekend while addressing a press conference in Jos, Plateau state, assuring that "other health workers willing to abstain from the ongoing unjustifiable strike are advised to resume work as adequate security has been provided for them to carry out their duties without molestation or intimidation."
Acting state Chairman of NMA, Dr. Dajel Bulus expressed concern that the striking health workers are demanding salary parity with doctors. "This is not only unfortunate and strange, but unrealistic, untenable and unacceptable to the Nigerian doctors. Relativity in salary between healthcare workers is not peculiar to Nigeria but a practice obtainable all over the world. JOHESU's clamour for erosion of this is not acceptable and will be resisted by all well-meaning medical practitioners in Nigeria."
He added that while the NMA was not against their struggle for whatever reason, it was however worried that most of their demands are ill-motivated, ill-guided and mischievous and a direct challenge on the leadership role of doctors in healthcare delivery, noting that their demand also seek to reverse the significant gains that have been made in the past to stabilise the health sector.
Bulus said, "The NMA, Plateau State wish to categorically state that no doctor practising in Plateau state is on strike. Doctors working in our various health institutions are currently working and providing essential life-saving services to patients including JOHESU members that need medical help.
"We also wish to advise that health workers in Plateau state to suspend their involvement in the ongoing strike. This is to reciprocate the good will of the Governor of the state, who has strived against all financial challenges to implement one of the best salary structures for them without any threat of strike. Beyond that, he has continued to pay their salaries regularly and passionately.
"We wish to call on the Federal Government to implement the Yayale Ahmed led committee and consider the possibility of public private partnership in the health sector to address the incessant unrest in the sector."
The association also said it was totally in support of the Federal government's current anti-corruption fight in the country, cautioning against government officials succumbing to financial inducement to sign agreements that are untenable and unsustainable.