By Asmau Ahmad
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) says plans are underway to permanently address the menace of strikes embarked upon by workers in the health sector. President of the Association, Dr Kayode Obembe, disclosed this in an interview with the newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday.
He said the association has set up a committee, which would be inaugurated after the elections, to design a plan that would ensure industrial harmony in the health sector. Obembe said the union was worried about the incessant strikes embarked upon by workers in the health sector and would proffer solutions to resolve the issue amicably.
“Yes, we are tired of the strikes embarked by workers in the health sector and we are committed towards resolving the issue once and for all.
“We know that the doctors have had their share of the strike, we want a situation where doctors will not have to embark on strike before getting their demands attended to and we are working towards that.’’ Obembe said the crippling effect of the strikes embarked by health workers in the preceding year alone had affected both access to health and smooth delivery of health services, especially in tertiary health facilities.
He said the NMA would give its best to ensure that issues that would hitherto lead to strike could be settled by concerned parties without staying away from work. He, however, stressed that it was the responsibility of both the employer and the employee to have harmony and mutual respect in the work place. Obembe assured that strikes would be `a thing of the past’ if government and workers agreed on certain basic conditions to resolve their differences.
He expressed optimism that the committee’s recommendations would go a long way in establishing a template in settling employee-employer disputes.