The Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria said it would resist any attempt by the Federal Government to sack members of the Nigeria Medical Association who have been on strike since July 1.
The President of the association, Dr. Steve Oluwole , said in a statement in Ibadan on Tuesday that although the body was restrained by the National Industrial Court not to participate in the strike, MDCAN would oppose any attempt by the Federal Government to proscribe the NMA. Oluwole described the planned clampdown as an unhealthy way to resolve issues that led to the one-month-old strike.
He, therefore, urged the government to employ diplomatic means to resolve issues with the striking doctors in order to save the lives of patients at various government hospitals, adding that any threat against the workers would only aggravate the crisis.
He said, “The attention of the MDCAN is drawn to the purported plan of the Federal Government to take drastic steps to end the current NMA strike. Unnamed government officials have leaked to the press that the government is considering proscription of the NMA.
“In the event that the Federal Government tows this course of action, the military will be deployed to guard the medical institutions with military and paramilitary medical professionals rendering services in the mean time. All public health institutions will be privatised. Then the ‘no work no pay’ principle will be enforced, doctors who are interested will be protected to resume duties while new ones will be employed to take their places.”
Oluwole said before the NMA declared the strike, the MDCAN had implored the Federal Government to consider the demands of the doctors professionally and not politically.
“The government appears not to have learned lessons from failed drastic measures of the 1970s that irreparably damaged the structure and psyche of public service and of public universities in Nigeria. The ruling political elite are bent on destroying the health system. The annual medical bills of political office holders after retirement from office exceed 10 years take home pay of medical consultants in Nigeria. Nigeria belongs to all citizens and not to the politicians who now threaten the very fabric of the medical profession,” he said.