NMA Threatens To Strike If Federal Government Approves JOHESU Demands
More troubles loom as the Nigerian Medical Association, (NMA), has threatened to commence an indefinite strike if the demands of striking health workers under the auspices Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) is approved.
It will be recalled that Naija news had earlier reported that JOHESU had directed all its counterparts in the states and local governments to join in its four-week-long strike as a result of federal government’s failure to meet its demands which includes an upward adjustment of COHNESS salary structure in line with the same principles used in adjusting the CONMESS table for medical doctors.
However, the NMA in a letter made available to newsmen, warned that there would be grave implications should JOHESU succeed in getting the government to meet any demand that violates the collective bargaining agreement entered into with the NMA in 2014.
The letter reads in Part
“The NMA wishes to draw the attention of the Federal Government to our correspondence of April 21, 2014, on the above, in which we reminded Government of the collective bargaining agreement we had with the Federal Government of Nigeria in January 2014.
“It is also pertinent to once again remind Government about the concluding part of our letter no. NMA/PRE/SG/03/0751 of 21st March 2014, which states, “In view of the above, the NMA painfully wishes to inform the Federal Government of Nigeria that any award to the non-medically qualified health professionals that violates the January and July agreements of 2014 shall result in the resumption of the suspended withdrawal of service of 2014. Please take this as a notice sir.
“The above reminder is predicated on the extension of the ongoing strike action embarked upon by the amorphous body called JOHESU, to States and Local government areas, the basis of which is to strengthen its callous and ill-motivated agitation for pay parity between her members and doctors with the resultant erosion of relativity and further hierarchical distortion in the health sector vis-à-vis her clandestine romance with some top government officials.
“We oppose vehemently, any adjustment in CONHESS salary scale with resultant pay parity between doctors and healthcare professionals allied to medicine, and hereby reaffirm that relativity is sacrosanct.
“The demand for professional autonomy is part of the fight for professional ego by JOHESU/AHPA. Government is once again reminded of global best practices in terms of the leadership of the clinical/medical team in which the physician is the head. Rather than accede to a demand that will lead to more preventable deaths, we urge the Federal Government to implement the recommendations of the Yayale Ahmed Committee on professional harmony in the health sector.
“The demand for the appointment of other health workers as Consultant with payment of specialist allowance is a self-centred agitation aimed at ensuring they are in charge of clinical care. This is not only an aberration considering the international best practice that will add no value to clinical/patients’ care, it will certainly worsen morbidity and mortality indices in Nigeria. We, therefore, reaffirm the rejection of this demand.“
Below is a copy of the letter as obtained by Naija News.