The Ogun State chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has berated the national body of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) for directing states and local government health workers to join the ongoing strike.
The association stated this on Tuesday in a statement signed by Dr. Abikoye Peters, the acting chairman of the chapter and made available to newsmen in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
The statement noted that strikes in the health industry cause irreparable loss of lives, describing JOHESU’s nationwide strike as “ill-guided, anti-doctor, anti-patient and anti-institution”.
While observing the striking union’s demands as “unlawful”, the association said strike should remain an instrument of bargaining when all other means of getting attention has failed, rather than means of wreaking havoc, especially where human lives are at stake.
“Strikes should be an instrument of bargaining when all other means of getting attention has failed. When a union is pushed into calling strike, the above qualities should be the guiding principles. A union whose headship is boasting of wreaking havoc with strike has failed to demonstrate empathy and is far beyond the bounds of true patriotism.
“Directing states and local government health workers to join the strike calls for concern especially in estimating the real motive behind the exercise. Strike in the health industry is associated with irreparable loss of lives. On its merit, this is enough to call for caution while the strike lasts,” Abikoye stated in the statement.
The association, however, urged governments at all levels to be guided in managing labour crises and guard against being stampeded or blackmailed into taking decisions capable of precipitating more crises.
It equally, reiterated that Ogun NMA members were not on strike, adding, “all hospitals are open to all patients across Ogun State and doctors are available to attend to their clients promptly.
“We identify with every family and home who had been negatively impacted by the on going strike. We are not against any cadre of worker agitating for their due pay, but we maintain JOHESU’s strike is adding no value to patients’ care neither is it adding any improvement to the facilities”.