Today, the Nigeria Medical Association commenced her indefinite strike action. It is habitual for the Federal Government of Nigeria to frustrate and push until an affected trade union, capable of it though, goes for the jugular of the Government. That way, you’ll be prudently stocking up more funds for exigency situations rather than spend on all institutions of Government. No wonder a Minister, supported by other appointed members of Government, once said, during the six-month strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Nigeria Universities (ASUU), “The Government will collapse if she were to satisfy all her institutions”. So, the best approach is for the Government to look the other way, ignore, until the ‘noise and pressure’ get unbearable for the government.
That’s the case with several strike actions embarked upon by certain trade unions in the past, keep in mind that of ASUU, which ran between July and December, 2013. And now, the NMA. Who knows when the strike will end; 1 month, 6 months, 1 year, twelve years? Either the Government bends backward to honour the Doctors’ demands or the Doctors choose to call off their strike; the determining factor, prime of it, may be the increasing number of death of patients who are unattended to by the striking Doctors.
Following the expiration of a two-week ultimatum the NMA gave the Federal Government to meet her 24-point demand, the NMA President, Kayode Obembe, called it a “total and indefinite strike” which commenced today. And trust human beings, who have undergone some tutelage in an environment called a school, to always have justification for all that’s done.
“The NMA is taking this painful route because our silence and gentle approach to these contending issues have been taken for granted,” Kayode Obembe said (note that all expressions in capital are mine. HOW PAINFUL COULD IT BE THAT ONE IS ABSCONDING FROM WORK? I TOTALLY AGREE THAT NMA HAS ADOPTED THE ‘SILENCE AND GENTLE APPROACH’ FOR A LONG TIME. THAT’S WHAT INCESSANT STRIKES CONSTITUTE LEAVING BEHIND MORE DEATHS AND COMPLICATIONS OF PATIENTS. THAT’S IF WE TAKE FOR GRANTED THE PATIENTS WHO DIE AS A RESULT OF THE DOCTORS’ INCOMPETENCE OR NEGLIGENCE). “We have to take this action in order to save the health care delivery system from anarchy that is palpably imminent.” (SIR, I PUT IT TO YOU THAT BASED ON THE OATH YOU TOOK, WHAT PALPABLY IMMINENT ANARCHY YOU SHOULD PREVENT AS A MATTER OF PRIORITY IS THE ONE THAT CAN BE CAUSED BY THE STRIKE WITH ITS ATTENDANT INCREASING DEATH OF YOUR SUBJECTS AND THE COMPLICATION OF THEIR CONDITIONS).
Interestingly, it is important to emphasize that due to the usual hardline stance of the FGN, the most effective tool of negotiation by the trade unions is strike and this cannot be overemphasized because the insensitivity of the government can never similarly be categorized simply. However, in justifying the strike actions, in terms of scope and duration, one must consider the nature of the subjects of the Union. With respect to the Academic Staff Union of the Universities (ASUU), the subjects are the students, whose wasted time as a result of ASUU strike is the primary bone of contention. This can be compensated for by success, ultimately, and whatever anyone so chooses to serve as compensation inasmuch as he/she is alive. On the other hand, the Doctors’ strike affects their subjects, the patients, in several thinkable ways, even death. And the death of any patient is something that ordinarily should stir the emotions and sympathies of even hardened criminals. How soon do professionals forget their oath?
Some of the major issues currently at stake include reserving the position of chief medical director to only medical doctors (BUT FOR EGOCENTRISM, THERE’S OBVIOUSLY NO JUSTIFIABLE REASON TO MAKE THIS DEMAND. A PERSON CAN BE A GOOD MEDICAL DOCTOR AND A BAD ADMINISTRATOR OR A BAD MEDICAL DOCTOR AND A GOOD ADMINISTRATOR. HENCE, ANY GOOD ADMINISTRATOR SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO APPLY FOR THE POSITION OF CHIEF MEDICAL DIRECTOR, IRRESPECTIVE OF PROFESSION. THE DEMAND OF THE NMA IN THIS REGARD WILL READ, IN OTHER WORDS, ‘A MEDICAL DOCTOR IS ALWAYS A GOOD ADMINISTRATOR AND ONLY MEDICAL DOCTORS, NO OTHER PROFESSIONAL WORKING IN THE HOSPITAL, ARE GOOD ADMINISTRATORS CAPABLE OF HEADING THE HOSPITALS IN THE COUNTRY’. BULLSHIT! appointment of Surgeon General of the Federation (THIS IS NONE OF MY BUSINESS), passage of National Health Bill and providing security for doctors (THERE IS NO PECULIAR SITUATION HERE. ALL NIGERIANS NEED SECURITY. EXCEPT OF COURSE IF THE DOCTORS WILL BE HAPPY BEING THE ONLY ONES LEFT BEHIND AFTER ALL OTHER NIGERIANS HAVE BEEN WIPED OUT BY INSECURITIES OF VARYING DIMENSIONS).
The NMA also wants “increase in duty, hazard and specialist allowances, as well as budget for residency training programme” (THIS IS YOUR CALL BUT ENSURE YOU PROVIDE THE RATIONALE FOR THE INCREASE AND DON’T BOTHER TO SHOW ME).
The NMA also called for the reintegration of its members into the IPPIS platform, and reserving the title of consultants to only medical doctors, among others (SOMETIMES, EDUCATION, OR PARDON ME – TOO MUCH OF IT, MAY MAKE A PERSON ONCE AGAIN UNEDUCATED. WHAT’S THE CHRISTIANS’ BUSINESS HOW THE MUSLIMS PREACH IN THEIR MOSQUES? WHY WOULDN’T EVERYONE MIND HIS/HER BUSINESS IN SUCH A WAY TO PERFECT THAT BUSINESS? THE OTHER CONCERN I HAVE WITH THIS DEMAND IS: THAT OTHER PROFESSIONALS ARE ABLE TO ATTAIN THE ACADEMIC STATUS OF A CONSULTANT, DOES THAT PREVENT DOCTORS FROM RETAINING THEIR POSITIONS AS CONSULTANTS? SO, WHAT’S THE BAD-BELLE ABOUT?
Once, I had a chat with one of the younger members of NMA, where I made him realize I doubted more than a handful of contemporary Medical Doctors know the significance of the Hippocratic Oath. Mind you, this Oath has so much been whittled down, probably due to the need to perpetrate some evil, that some of the Doctors even gape when they get to know more details as contained in the real Hippocratic Oath, not the Physician Oath they are made to swear to these days.
Please, find below a thread culled from http://nairaland.com
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If one were to consider the Oath, the health of the patients will be the Doctors’ priority and not the increase of their personal allowances or security (WHICH ‘EDUCATED’ DOCTOR WOULD PREFER THAT HIS SUBJECT DIES RATHER THAN HE/SHE LOSING HIS/HER PERSONAL SECURITY – NO BE DEATH O). On the other hand, I will admit the justification of the Doctors’ strike if they collectively agree that the patient is not at the core of their services. If that’s the case, THEN LET THE STRIKE COMMENCE.