The row between the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU), the Assembly of HealthCare Professional Associations (AHPA), and the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) over the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria Repeal and Re-Enactment Bill, 2020, has deepened.
The health workers have asked the National Assembly to step down a Bill sponsored by Kwara Central Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe or face a nationwide strike.
The unions decried what they called the unfair treatment, injustice, lack of fair hearing and bias which Oloriegbe allegedly meted out to them at a public hearing of five health Bills on February 1, 2021.
They said Oloriegbe, a medical doctor, stretched his “misnomer” at the public hearings he presided over, like the NHIS Amendment Bill and the February 1, 2021 hearing, by recognising his “medical constituents above and over other stakeholders”.
JOHESU accused medical doctors of attempting to regulate health workers through the Bill, which is currently before the National Assembly.
Last week, the NMA accused JOHESU and AHPA of trying to get what they “couldn’t achieve in school through the back doors”.
Reply the NMA on Wednesday, the unions noted that the “grab-grab syndrome and know-it-all attitude of Nigerian doctors was what had wrecked Nigeria’s health system to become the hallmark of negative health indices as well as a wretched 187 out of 191 health systems globally”.
In a statement by JOHESU Chairman Joy Bio Josiah, the unions said: “We, therefore, have a responsibility, as loyal and dynamic citizens, to reverse through constructive action, especially by embracing global best practices in the Health options, in ultimate public interest. JOHESU will continue to uphold this without caring about whose ox is gored.
“For the NMA, we send word with a deep sense of conviction that we shall no longer let you get away with the foolish mentality that in the world of power, there is no equality; that the strong must have their way, while the weak suffer what they must, like Albert Camus said.”
JOHESU promised to champion what it called a true agenda of health reforms to restore order, sanity, decorum and respect for all concerned in the health system.
The unions faulted the provisions of many sections of the Bill, which they said would give the NMA an undue advantage over other health workers’ unions.