Edo state government and the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) are in for a showdown over the 21 days ultimatum the doctors gave the state government to fix the health sector in terms of infrastructure and welfare or face strike action.
Coming from a five-day warning strike last week, the leadership of the NMA led by Emmanuel Osaigbovo issued a fresh 21-day ultimatum for its demands to be met by the government who they accused of insensitivity but the state government said that the demands of the doctors are not realistic and that it would engage private health practitioners to offer health services to the people if the strike commences.
A statement by the Special Adviser, Media and Communications Strategy, Crusoe Osagie said the state governor, Godwin Obaseki stated this position of his administration when he received the newly inaugurated members of the Governing Board of the University Of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) at Government House, in Benin City.
But the state chapter of the NMA has described as laughable, threats by the state government to engage private doctors. A statement signed by the state chairman and Secretary of the NMA, Emmanuel Osaigbovo and Harry Omokhua and said the association was surprised that the only response by the state government to its legitimate agitations was one of threats and intimidation. ìPlans by the government to employ private doctors is laughable as the doctors will have to come with their personal x-ray units, theatres, decent consulting rooms, drugs, laboratory equipment or maybe build new hospital because these things are grossly lacking.î
The association said during the campaign for election of Governor Obaseki, they did not ask for money but requested for the revamp of the healthcare system in the state with adequate manpower, facilities, physical infrastructure and a well-motivated workforce.