Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) says that the ongoing nationwide strike by members of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) is targeted at medical doctors.
JOHESU members embarked on the nationwide strike last month to press on the Federal Government to implement hitherto reached agreements particularly on issues of salaries for health workers.
The Association’s FCT chairman, Dr. Chiedozie Achonwa, told newsmen at a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday that JOHESU was making unrealistic demands and suggested they quit and return to duty.
“That we work together under one roof does not mean that we have the same capacity, ability, educational qualification or training. JOHESU members are just supportive staff,” Achonwa said.
“Each time a sick person visits the hospital, it is to see a medical doctor to get cured of his/her ailment. But in doing that, several other factors could come between them, and that is when the allied healthcare professionals play [a] supportive role.
“We must emphasize that healthcare professionals can only act upon the instruction or directive of the doctor. This is the standard practice world over, and Nigeria cannot be an exception.
“Apart from the fact that the training of a medical doctor is all-encompassing, it is the doctor that is held accountable should anything go wrong in the overall management of the patient. Nigerians can, therefore, be the judge as to who is qualified to be the leader of the health team.”
He insisted that NMA can never work against any request for either wage or salary increase or adjustment for health workers, but will resist any attempt for equal pay with doctors.