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MY ADVICE TO NIGERIA MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (NMA) IF WE MUST ENJOY EVERLASTING PEACE IN THE HEALTH SECTOR

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by  YAHAYA UMAR  ( Abu Sofiyyah)

Its high time the Nigeria Medical Association, (NMA), FG,  and the public came to realize that the reasons for incessant strikes and lack of peace in the health sector are the incessant injustice and lack of transparency from the FG and/ FMOH,  and NMA.


No single individual on earth can endure the pain of injustice for ever.  At a point,  the oppressed would revolt.  At a point,  the oppressed would push back when he's pushed to the wall.

The major demand of JOHESU which NMA is critically opposed to is salary harmonization. There have been several write ups, articles,  interviews on national TVs as to what exactly is the reason behind NMA's opposition to this critical demand of JOHESU. The difference in the points of argument between the two bodies,  JOHESU and NMA is that;  while the former is asking for salary adjustment for justice,  fairness and equity sake,  the later is against it solely for selfish reasons.
This is because when the salaries of JOHESU members are increased as required,  it would definitely motivate them the more thus increasing their productivity like their NMA counterparts that are already enjoying a new package. Once they're fairly treated,  they would reciprocate in the way they render their services.

When the salaries of JOHESU  members are increased,  it would never reduce the salaries of doctors in Nigeria. Unless NMA wants to tell us and the whole world that they will only be encouraged and remain motivated when JOHESU members are unfairly treated!! That would mean that NMA members are sadists who seek or derive pleasure  and satisfaction from the pain of others. The meaning is that even if doctors are collecting 2million as minimum salary for the least paid,  they would remain unhappy if same is done to nurses,  pharmacists, physiotherapists. Nothing best describe selfishness,  callousness,  greed than this.  After all,  what a junior doctor is enjoying now is what the most senior doctor  probably was enjoying.  Yet,  they're not happy seeing the salaries of other stakeholders increased too.

A lot of things that were ordinarily considered secrets are now in  the public domain as consequences of unhealthy rivalry amongst us.

NMA should encourage her members and let them understand that nobody is praying to go back to the dark ages.

If I may ask, are NMA members happy working with unhappy,  poorly motivated nurses?  Are NMA members happy sending lab tests to oppressed  and unfairly treated lab scientists?  Sending prescriptions to poorly motivated pharmacists etc?  Is NMA happy and  working in an environment that's not conducive for them while working ( courtesy of their actions)? How would they feel safe and secure working with people they hated with so much passion by telling the government that any improvement in their salaries would be disastrous to the non existing peace in the health sector?

NMA and her agents have spuriously claimed that what JOHESU  is asking  for is pay parity which is untenable,  unacceptable and unrealistic! The question we're asking NMA and her agents are : Is the parity between salaries of doctors and that of nurses,  pharmacists,  or laboratory scientists? Can NMA tell us another definition of parity according to them since the tables presented to the FG showed otherwise? 

NMA is telling us by their own definition of parity  that 10,000 for instance is equals to 15,000 because the difference between the two figures is "JUST 5000" !!!

My advice to them and those who may benefit from it. NMA should stop treating others with contempt.  Respect begets respect. You can't treat me with disrespect and disdain and expect something less. It's indeed reciprocal,  that's respect. NMA,  should embrace and carry other health care providers in their struggle for better welfare for her members and every stakeholders subsequently.

ASSU  is a union for the academic staff of university,  irrespective of the courses they teach.  In ASSU,  we have lecturers of college of health sciences,   different faculties, departments  coming together as a pressure group for her members.  Why should the medical doctors now think they're special creators from God deserving better treatment than their colleagues in the hospital?  NMA should, if that's the case tell her lecturers to quit ASSU that comprise lecturers of medicine, nursing,  lab science, pharmacists, etc and  form ASSU for lecturers of medicine since they are teaching the most special breeds of people who must enjoy special treatment at the expense of others.

Unless NMA embrace and truly display that leadership role by incorporating others in the health sector to fight for our welfare collectively,  there can never be peace regardless of any form of intervention unless the FG is able to hold the bull by the horn.  Unless the FG is ready to tell those who enjoy interfering with others welfare to keep shut. 

NMA should encourage her members and let them understand that nobody is praying to go back to the dark ages.  Somebody was asking me to remember how Florence Nightingale started nursing,  that she has never claimed equality with her master! Who was her master?  Is he trying to  say it was the doctor?  If yes,  what was the name of that doctor?  Assuming that claim was true also,  does that justify eternal master -servant relationship or modern day slavery NMA is preaching in this 21st century?  I advice such person and those who  still think backwards to go and read the history of nursing / nursing revolution.

Secondly,  NMA should replace the teaching (indirectly)  of arrogance,  egocentrism  to her students with humbleness and altruism.  They should stop telling their students that they're all in all in the health sector because NO SINGLE ORGAN IN HUMAN BODY CAN FUNCTION INDEPENDENTLY.  They should stop making mockery of themselves by comparing the relationship amongst us in the health sector to the relationship that exist in other ministries like judiciary,  aviation,  military etc as we have seen and read funny and embarrassing analogies from supposedly knowledgeable professionals.

NMA should not forget that we're humans before been professionals.  Uncountable  number of nurses have doctors as their children,  brothers,  sisters.  Same thing to others in the health sector. In short,  we are suppose to see ourselves as one, working for same interest - patients well being.

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