The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria considers the statement credited to the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, as reckless, unguided and unexpected of a minister of any republic. The minister has directed all Chief Medical Directors and Medical Directors of Federal Hospitals to immediately engage the services of casual doctors to augment the services of consultants, National Youth Service Corps doctors and medical doctors on internship pending the resolution of the ongoing strike by the National Association of Resident Doctors.
The Congress feels sad that at a time when nations are building strong health sectors ‘the giant of Africa’ sees engagement of casual workers as recipe to the challenge of the health sector. The best of Nigerian doctors are abroad doing great; in fact, they treat our politicians who seek medical help abroad. And do you know what? They left this country because of some of the issues that led to the present strike. In other climes issues that bother on health are not treated with kid gloves, because lives are involved. But the reverse is the case here.
Asking consultants to work overtime while negotiations continue with the National Association of Resident Doctors is dangerous because we are talking about human life. Overtime? Are they factory workers? How do you persuade a medical doctor that is fagged out to perform a surgery? We are going through enough pains already, trading lives for government’s complacency is most unreasonable. The Minister should realize that the hospitals they patronize abroad are not manned by casual doctors.
We are surprised that a University Professor and Medical Doctor will recommend such. How the world of politics can make human mind cruel. This same minister played a positive role during the military regime. Amazingly awful! How time changes.
We call on the Presidency to ignore the quick solution of the minister. If government must do as prescribed by the minister then, it should also employ casual state officials such as ministers and special aides. It will really help us to save enough money for their own use. Indeed our country has become a joke in the comity of nations because of statements of this nature that lack intellectual enterprise.
Comrade (Dr.) Bobboi Bala Kaigama
Comrade (Barr.) Musa-Lawal Ozigi, mni
Secretary General, TUC