Speaking in Lagos, President of the Association, Alhaji Toyosi Raheem expressed displeasure on the manner in which the current crisis in the Health Sector is being handled by government at all levels in the country.
According to him, in any normal clime, crisis in health sector culminating in national industrial actions is handled with utmost urgency and attention.
“Regrettably, in our country, crisis and industrial actions in the Health Sector is given little or no attention at all. This unfortunately leads to avoidable loss of lives and economic burden on the masses especially in terms of the cost of getting alternative access to health care locally or outside the country (for those who could afford it),” he stated.
Raheem recalled that early this year, the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, went on a national strike for days albeit with consequent loss of lives. He said the ongoing national strike by the Joint Health Sector Union, JOHESU seemed not to attract any urgent attention from government and wondered the impact on the health of Nigerians as well as attainment of the health related Millennium Development Goals, MDGs.
“Our Association hereby urges Federal Government and other stakeholders to show commitment and give urgency to resolution of the ongoing crisis. Government and patriotic Nigerians should appeal to government to urgently discuss with JOHESU members rather than leave the meeting till 15th of December, 2014. The current situation in the health sector deserves urgent national attention,” he said.
On the National Health Bill, he noted: “It is our belief that what was presented for assent, was the harmonised version of the Senate and the House of Representatives. That is the version that will lead to achievement of the good intentions of the drafters of the bill. It is hoped that no other version order than the harmonised version produced by the two National Assemblies was presented to Mr. President for assent. “The crisis in the health sector would even be aggravated if any other version was presented for assent order than the harmonized version. The health of the citizenry deserves urgent and sincere attentions by all stakeholders,” he stated.