The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has described the threat by the Joint Health Sector Union, JOHESU, not to negotiate with the federal government if medical doctors are involved in the process as “emotional blackmail’.
The NMA said doctors in administrative positions have worked hard to create healthy balance in welfarism between physicians and Allied Health Professionals in the health sector.
It also declared that medical doctors were not opposed to any salary increase, adjustment or variation for JOHESU and her members provided that such action and identical values are applied to CONMESS to sustain the agreement with NMA.
In a statement signed by its national publicity secretary, Dr. Aniekeme Uwah, the NMA claimed that in attempt to placate JOHESU, their members in positions recommended relativity in emoluments below what is obtainable for physicians internationally to the disenchantment of members of the NMA.
The statement reads in part: “The is no basis for JOHESU to ask for the same salary as for medical doctors as this is not the standard practice worldwide, JOHESU knows that there is a relativity agreement between the Federal government and the NMA on CONHESS and CONMESS.
“The Federal Government, the Federal Ministry of Health and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment know the implications of breaching the agreement on relativity. The current DHS and her staff are among the most meek and considerate officers in the FMOH. Therefore, if JOHESU cannot trust and work with her, then it can’t work with anyone in the entire Civil Service of the Federation. We believe she has resisted the ’Nigerian factor’ hence this vituperation by JOHESU because that is JOHESU’s stock in trade.
It said: “If anyone is to be unhappy, it should be the physicians who are being short-changed by the deliberate refusal of the Federal government to apply internationally accepted relativity in the remuneration of health workers in Nigeria.”
According to the statement, JOHESU was free to negotiate with anybody and that physicians were not afraid of this provided that the facts and international standards were presented and applied.
The NMA said by threatening not to enter into a negotiation with the Federal government if doctors were involved, it implied that such decisions would be extended to the Ministers of Health and that of Labour and Employment because they are physicians.
“JOHESU should also stop meeting with the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Permanent Secretaries that are physicians, chief medical directors, Chairmen of Senate and House Committees on Health, governors and deputy governors etc,” it added.