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JOHESU Cannot Shut Down Hospitals, Says MDCAN

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From Akpan Etukudo Asare, Calabar

The Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) on Friday disagreed with the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) that they have been able to paralyse activities at all government hospitals.

MDCAN said they, the medical doctors were still rendering medical services to the general public including members of the striking workers.

The association frowned at the physical assault of doctors by members of JOHESU and locking up some parts of the hospitals and taking the keys away.

The association made this assertion in Calabar in a statement jointly signed by its National President, Prof. Ngim Ngim and Secretary General, Dr Affiong Ibanga in Calabar.

MDCAN described their agitation and demands for pay equality with the doctors as unjustified and undeserved, saying JOHESU attempt to force  government to give into their demands was provocative.

MDCAN, however, said it recognised the right of workers to negotiate terms of compensation with their employers to enhance their wages and salaries.

“The federal government is strongly advised to take into consideration the internationally recognised practice of relativity in wages of professionals in the health sector.

“This is not peculiar to Nigeria. Relativity must be regarded by the government as sacrosanct in their negotiations with the striking health workers.

“Consultants and indeed all medical doctors in the country will not accept any decision that further erodes the existing relativity in salaries and wages, for which there is an extant agreement.

“Medical doctors had in the spirit of comradeship and carrying along other health workers accepted a much lower relativity ratio than what was previously obtainable in the country and worldwide.

The association advised the federal government to implement the Yayale Ahmed committee report on resolution of inter-professional disharmony in the health sector with a view to put an to the crisis in the health sector.

The association appealed to members of JOHESU to suspend their strike with a view to ensure sustainable and uninterrupted health care delivery to the citizens.

While commending medical doctors, consultants and others for rendering services during this period, the association expressed confidence in the ability of Prof. Isaac Adewole, Minister of Health, in resolving the crisis in the health sector.

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