Following expiration of the December 14 ultimatum to the Federal Government by the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, doctors in public health institutions across the country are withdrawing their services with effect from 8a.m. on Wednesday, December 18.
Making the development known in a communique issued after its National Executive Council, NEC, in Minna, Niger State, NMA President, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, and Secretary-General, Dr. Akpofuoma Pemu, said the decision was based on the extremely poor progress in the resolution of NMA’s demands.
Noting that the association was constrained to declare industrial action with effect from Wednesday, they explained that in recognition of the Yuletide and appeals of well-meaning Nigerians, the withdrawal of services in the first instance would be for a period of five days but would recommence after the Yuletide.
They said: “We call on members of the public and the media to bear with the association during this period of withdrawal of services.
“For over five months, NMA has engaged the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Health, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation on issues bordering on some health sector challenges, workplace conditions and the conditions of service of doctors.”
Stating that the association had extended her ultimatum twice, they noted that their efforts to further engage the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Health (following the invitation of the Minister of Health to a meeting) even at the 11th hour, ultimately collapsed.
NMA accused the government of reneging on their agreement as they had failed to implement the report of the Presidential Committee.
The statement said: “Since the report of the Presidential Committee was submitted to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, only the re-constitution and inauguration of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, MDCN, has been realised.”