The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has assured Nigerians that the ongoing strike by the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria will end “very soon”.
He said this during the inauguration of the South-West Traditional Leaders’ Committee on Public Health Delivery at Ile Oodua palace, Ile-Ife, on Thursday.
While responding to a request by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, that the Federal Government should “end doctors’ strike without delay”, the minister lamented that the doctors embarked on strike during a pandemic.
Ehanire promised that efforts would be doubled to ensure that the current industrial action being embarked upon by health workers would be brought to an end.
“This is a time when we face different challenges in the health sector due to the adverse effect of Covid-19, it is not the best time for doctors to be going on strike. We are working to ensure that they resume soonest and I want to assure Nigerians that this would be achieved very soon,” the Minister was quoted as saying in a statement by the Ooni’s media aide, Moses Olafare.
Earlier, Ooni charged the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.)-led Federal Government to end the ongoing industrial action embarked upon by resident doctors, saying that Nigerians are suffering.
Describing the strike action as highly unfortunate, Ooni who is the Co-chairman of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria, said, “I am aware of your relentless efforts towards ending the strike as quickly as possible but Nigerians cannot wait any further.
“The strike action has brought a lot of hardships to Nigerians especially the poor and other vulnerable persons who cannot afford privately owned health facilities which obviously is now the alternative.”
In his speech, Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, called for more support from Nigerians, particularly the traditional institution.
“We are aware of your might as leaders and we want you to support you with this in order for us to serve Nigerians better. You did it in the creation of awareness against poliovirus till we swept it off the shores of Nigeria and even now with Covid-19, it is evident that you can do it again,” Faisal said. PUNCH