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A/Ibom doctors shelve planned strike

Akwa Ibom State chapter of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has jettisoned plans to embark on strike, joining the National Executive Council (NEC) to shelve the ultimatum on the withdrawal of clinical duties.

The association said the decision was a mark of respect for the Minister of Health, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, and Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, adding that the body believes that government’s promise of releasing a circular on the consolidated medical salary scale before September 30, 2009 was achievable.

In a seven point communiqué issued by the state branch of the NMA and signed by the State Chairman, Dr. Bassey Ntekim, and Secretary, Dr. Roland Esu, the association expressed its desire to partner with the State Ministry of Health and Hospital Management Board to bring about  efficient health care delivery to the people of the state.

NMA charged its members in government employ to ensure that standards were maintained and strive to rise to the challenges of their ethics by showing good example in the course of the discharge of their duties.

The association thanked the state government for the enhanced working conditions for its members in the state civil service through the increase in call duty allowance, sundry allowances and the allocation of personal utility vehicles.

It also promised to reciprocate the kind gesture with a renewed commitment for enhanced productivity.
“We also note the government’s desire to withhold this kind gesture from four of our members on post graduates in-sercie training on account of civil service regulations and plead with His Excellency to work out this matter as purely political and not a civil service matter.

“The NMA views the issue of personal utility vehicle allocation as a kind gesture from a politician who wants to go the extra mile to do the extra ordinary to revamp and galvanize the decaying health sector thus distinguishing himself among his peers.

“It is worth to note that the aim of this gesture was principally to attract high caliber professionals into the health sector, denying a few doctors originally in the list of beneficiaries but on in-service training is counter-productive, as this will go along way in de-motivating  others from seeking similar ventures”, the communiqué said .

The body appealed to the state government to consider the payment of compensation for the association’s secretariat, which certificate of occupancy was revoked and the land taken over by the government for the building of Tropicana Galleria.

NMA also appealed to government to prevail on the management of the hospital management board not to circumvent the seniority/hierachical approach in sharing the vehicles, noting that such arbitrariness could potent danger of inflaming passion and thus bring the good intention of government to disrepute.

“We also note in particular, the denying of these vehicles to four doctors who proceeded to six months training to Israel on the commonest excuse of their writing a report that tended to indict the management of the board  on issue of estacodes”, the NMA said.


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