Abuja - Senate President David Mark has appealed to the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) to end the current strike in the interest of all Nigerians.
A statement issued by Paul Mumeh, Mark's Chief Press Secretary, in Abuja on Monday, said that the Senate President made the appeal during a meeting with officials of the association.
Mark, according to the statement, reminded the striking doctors of their strategic role in the life of the citizens and said that they could not continue to look the other way when Nigeria was facing health challenges.
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He was of the view that the outbreak of Ebola, now declared a national emergency, was enough reason for the doctors to suspend the strike.
Mark told the NAM officials that the government was not insensitive to the doctors’ demands but that the current situation called for patriotism on their part in the interest of the people.
The senate president promised to take their grievances to President Goodluck Jonathanin order to find solutions to them.
The statement said that NMA President Kayode Obembe, who led the delegation to the meeting, listed some of their grievances to include improved hazard allowance for medical and health workers, about 10 months unpaid arrears and the appointment of a Surgeon-General of the federation.
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The NMA president said that the association was also asking for an immediate reversal of the Federal Government's decision to sack over 16 000 resident doctors as a basis for further negotiation.
He maintained that doctors were not insensitive to the current health challenges occasioned by the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease.
“We are demanding that government should do the needful to improve healthcare services in the country,” Obembe said in the statement.
According to the statement, the Senate president will meet with the association again on Tuesday when both parties will report the progress made so far to resolve the impasse.