By Festus Ahon
NATIONAL President of the Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria, AGPMPN, Dr. Iyke Odo, has appealed to the striking Joint Health Sector Union, JOHESU, to sheathe their swords, lamenting that all professional care givers have been shortchanged by the Nigerian system through poor pay packages.
Odo, who spoke in Asaba during this year’s World Family Doctors’ Day celebration, said, “All over the world, doctors’ pay are significantly ahead, with the rest of the health team having their pay derived relative to those of doctors.
“The time has come for us to embrace this common truth for the sanity of the health sector. JOHESU should be willing to demand for a realistic remuneration for its members that will predicate on a more realistic pay for doctors but certainly not parity. I share the pains and agony of our team mates in the health sector to the extent that the very poor remunerations to healthcare professionals in the country generally allows. The system has shortchanged all of us. It will be very credible and laudable and understandable to call for better conditions of service but the call for parity with doctors is not only over ambitious but a travesty of normality.”
While explaining that family doctors were spectacular group of doctors, Odo said that “they are the most essential doctors in the society providing the most essential daily healthcare needs to the highest number in the population being available to all without regards to age, sex, tribe, tongue or religion.
“They are the longest serving and the longest staying doctors in the live of people. This group of doctors welcome people into the world and guide them out of it when the time comes. They are the cradle to the grave doctors. They provide comprehensive and continuous care for all. They are the leaders of the medical team”.