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Doctors back down on planned strike action

BY SOLA OGUNDIPE

EVEN as the Nigerian Medical Association has backed down on the threatened strike action following personal intervention by Vice President Goodluck Jonathan at the instance of the Health Minister, Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin, the effect of the on-going medical and health workers’ strike remained palpable.

The NMA met yesterday to shelve the proposed strike, but warned that their members would undoubtedly go on strike by October 1 if the agreement reached with the Federal Ministry of Health is not ratified by the end of September as promised by the Health Minister.

In the last few weeks, the NMA had been on the war path over government’s alleged failure to accede to their agitation for better pay and better conditions of service for its members in the Federal Service. Part of the main request is adoption and implementation of a Medical Service Scale (MSS) for doctors in government employment.

Meanwhile, Jonathan, who assured of government’s commitment to issues of the welfare of medical doctors said government would do all it could to ensure that the matter in issue is resolved. The NMA has been at loggerheads with government over the implementation of the MSS.

The current leadership of the Federal Ministry of Health has swiftly addressed the issues and brought to the attention of the President who gave the green light for negotiations.


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