The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige has condemned the spate of strikes in the health sector, stating that the action was against the oath medical doctors swore to when they were inducted into the profession.
Speaking yesterday at the opening of this year’s Annual General Meeting and scientific session of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, FCT Chapter, in Abuja, he urged the NMA to look for a better way of resolving the lingering crisis in the sector so as to reduce the rate of strikes.
The minister noted that in most cases, it was the patients that suffer the consequences and appealed to them to make the health of patients as their priority as enshrined in the oath of secrecy.
He quoted some portion of the oath to remind the doctors which says “my patient will be my first consideration. “I will not permit consideration of age, disease or disability, creed, ethnic origin, gender, nationality, political, race, sexual orientation or social standing to intervene between my duty and my patient.’’
He then averred that, “taking into consideration these provisions, you are not supposed to proceed on strike as a medical professional in any circumstance.’’
Ngige went on to state that the past government did not do well with regards to meeting agreements on remuneration, welfare, among others, in the profession.
He, however, pointed out that there should be room for bargaining rather than endangering the lives of patients.