#iPGN: Our strike not about ego –Doctors

The Chairman, Nigerian Medical Association, Lagos State, Dr. Francis Faduyile, has said that the ongoing doctors’ strike in the country is not about ego.

The striking doctors have been openly criticised by some members of the public, who said their demands had to do with ego, but the NMA chairman refuted such claim.

Faduyile, who spoke with Saturday PUNCH on Thursday, said the industrial action was necessary to save the country’s ailing health sector.

He said, “Why should we be rubbing ego with other professionals? Why should we be doing that? Everything in life has got rules and standards, so the other professionals cannot just change the rules all of a sudden.

“And if you must change the rule, you change the rule for every sector within that area. So, it is not an ego thing. They are the ones trying to take all the privileges of a medical doctor and they don’t want to go to medical school. They want to disrupt the whole system in health and we say ‘no, you can’t do it.’ In other climes, we don’t have such. If they want to be director because of their PhDs, they should go to the secretariat.”

When asked if the strike was justified considering that many patients would suffer as majority of the country’s citizens can only afford government hospitals’ bills, Faduyile said, “That is why we are telling the government that the issue is creating chaos in the hospitals. When patients see 23 directors in the hospitals, even the patients will be confused themselves. It is a distraction.

“If you come to the hospital and you see cubicles for consultant nurse, consultant pharmacist, consultant physiotherapist, consultant medical laboratory scientist, and another one that says consultant cleaner. We are saying that the already bad situation should not be made worse. If we let it get loose, we will be playing with the lives of patients. We will make sure that the hospitals are devoid of politics.”

Meanwhile, there is no headway yet in negotiations between the association’s national body and the Federal Government.

Speaking on the issue, Faduyile said, “Our national leaders are discussing with the government but there has been no headway yet. There is nothing major for now so the strike continues in the hospitals.”

The NMA on Tuesday commenced an indefinite nationwide strike in all government hospitals to press for 24-point demands, which include the discontinuation of recognition of non-medical doctors as directors and having consultant title for any other health worker other than medical doctors.

Also, the doctors are asking for the appointment of a Surgeon-General of the Federation, payment of clinical duty and hazard allowances and withdrawal of the Central Bank of Nigeria circular on medical laboratory equipment, among other demands.

During a visit to some government hospitals in Lagos, including the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja and the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, our correspondent observed that patients were still being turned back while only skeletal services were offered to a few patients that remained in the wards.

A patient at the LASUTH, Mrs. Alimat Oni, left the hospital after futile wait of about five hours for a doctor.

She said, “I was asked to go for some tests last week and now that the results are out, I could not see a doctor today, which is my appointment date. A nurse asked me to wait that someone would attend to me but after waiting for about five hours, I decided to leave. I will have to visit a private hospital.

Posted From iProdigy Group Nigeria(Dabibi Ori-ibim’s Blog).

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