President Muhammadu Buhari has requested striking medical practitioners in the country to end their long-running strike since it is not a decent thing to do, regardless of their problems.
On Friday, September 10, the President announced this to representatives of the Nigeria Medical Association NMA, who paid him a courtesy call at the presidential palace.
While speaking in his office, President Buhari said;
“The lives of citizens that could be lost or damaged when doctors withdraw services, are precious enough to be worth opting for peaceful resolution of differences.”
Protecting our citizens is not to be left to government alone, but taken as a collective responsibility, in which especially medical professionals play a critical role. Let me speak directly to the striking doctors. Embarking on industrial action at this time when Nigerians need you most is not the best action to take, no matter the grievances.
This administration has a good track record of paying all debts owed to government workers, pensioners and contractors and we have even revisited debts left by past administrations, once due verification is done. Debts genuinely owed Health workers will be settled.
I learnt that some of the 12 points demand in the ongoing strike were already addressed, though the Review of a new Hazard Allowance has not been fully negotiated because of the sharp and deep division within the ranks of the striking doctors.’’
Buhari went on to say;
”We are also supporting initiatives to expand health insurance coverage and bring more resources to health financing. We have many more challenges ahead and much more to do, for our large population.
In this respect, it is important to remind you that, as senior medical personnel and representatives of one of the most respected professional groups in the world, your responsibility for the health and wellbeing of Nigerians are clear.
It does not end only with the welfare of your members, but continues with a sense of responsibility for the entire country and its sociopolitical health and national stability..”