The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has urged the federal government to intervene by addressing some issues concerning the union to promote industrial harmony and avert disputes.
President of the union, Francis Adedayo Faduyile urged the Minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige to intervene in the upliftment of the national healthcare system in the 36 states of the federation as governors have completely abdicated their responsibilities.”
Adebayo also called on the federal government to declare a state of emergency on the health sector and set up a national healthcare fund, in the same manner it intervened in the entertainment industry.
The NMA president made the call when he led a delegation on a courtesy visit to the Labour Minister in his office in Abuja.
He also called for a re-negotiation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) entered into with the federal government in 2009 which ought to be renewed every three years, arguing that some of its terms, such as the N5,000 hazard allowance, were out of place in today’s realities.
Responding to the union’s request, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, told the NMA to take the demand for upliftment of the national healthcare system to state governors.
“The state governments have abdicated their responsibilities and nobody is talking to them; nobody is doing anything. Everything is now federal. The federal government will provide tertiary healthcare, secondary and even primary healthcare as well as provide a place for residency programme.
“How can we? How? The federal government is in fact a willing horse but if a horse is willing, you don’t ride it to death.”
“Health is on the concurrent list and nothing stops the state governments from doing the primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare. In fact, when as a young doctor I did my housemanship, we had a hybrid of secondary and tertiary. That is why I left the teaching hospital and did mine at the Onitsha General Hospital while some of my colleagues had theirs at Enugu-Ukwu General Hospital and Parklane Hospital in Enugu.
“But today, the state governments have run away from even primary healthcare. The secondary – most of their general hospitals are glorified residents for rodents and reptiles,” Ngige said.