Former Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Adeleke Mamora has begged the members of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors to embrace dialogue with the Federal government regarding their demands.
The former Minister of State for Health, made the appeal at the 2023 annual general meeting of the FCT chapter of Nigerian Medical Association, with the theme “Impact of economic crisis on healthcare system”.
Mamora said the present administration needs time to appraise doctors’ demands in order to chart the best way forward.
“I appeal to our colleagues currently on strike, My appeal is for them to employ dialogue for the resolution of issues in dispute.
“I’m saying this because I was there before and some of my colleagues who were involved in negotiations know that one thing I will always say is that I will never succumb to pressure on something that I know will be impossible,
“I will just let you know that this is the true position. For example, when we started discussing hazard allowance, our projection, based on figures we had then was that we will need about N80bn but we were told that what was available from the government to disburse for hazard allowance was N20bn; so these are some of the challenges.
“I will always stick out my neck and say (to the doctors) that these are what the officials from the National Salaries Incomes And Wages Commission, the Ministry of Finance, the Office of the Head of Service, the Ministry of Health and others are saying so that we will agree and I will tell them that this is the reality.
“So, if under pressure, we go ahead to agree on something that right from the word go, you will know that this is not possible, I will never do that. So what happens now becomes a situation of carry over of trouble.”
Mamora, therefore, urged the resident doctors to employ dialogue with the government regarding their demands.
“I will rather that we look at realistic and holistic approach to issues. So, I am appealing to our colleagues who are presently on strike to calm down and look at what could be done in this circumstance. I do not have any doubt that the demands are legitimate but things could be legitimate but not realistic, so that we can sit together and chart the way forward. I believe this is important to achieve what we have set to achieve as goal,” he added.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman of the NMA, FCT chapter, Dr Charles Ugwuanyi said certain actions or inactions of the government contribute to the present state of affairs in the country.
Ugwuanyi further noted; “Leadership and healthcare financing are the two top pillars in the traditional six pillars healthcare delivery systems in any developed clime.
“It is also worthy of note that a working health care delivery system is prerequisite for sustainable and meaningful health care services, which is a major component of the sustainable development goals that our dear country subscribes to.
“Unfortunately, the minimum requirement on health systems funding according to AU convention, has never been met since 2001.”
“It is therefore not surprising that the health systems presently in operation have failed all tiers of government, especially in the primary tier, the local government areas which host more than 70 per cent of more than 200 million people in Nigeria.
“The mass exodus of highly trained and resourceful healthcare providers for greener pastures abroad is not unrelated to these issues. There is no doubt that certain actions or inactions on the side of the government at all levels have contributed to the present state of affairs with regard to the emigration crisis,” he further noted.
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