Lagos - Dr Olusegun Akinwotu, the Vice-Chairman, Lagos State chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), on Tuesday urged the striking health workers to return to dialogue with the Federal Government.
Akinwotu made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
"The Federal Government was negotiating with them before they started the strike.
"Government is still having an open channel for them to continue their discussions so that they can actually resolve whatever demands on the negotiation table.
"So, it is important that those channels are explored. We believe that patients’ care is paramount at this point.
"And as far as possible, they should allow negotiations to decide what the outcome will be with the government.
"They have their demands, they know their demands. One cannot say they shouldn’t go on strike, but, it should be within the confines of reasonable demands."
Akinwotu said that though, optimal management of patients’ care might not be achieved during the strike, the doctors would do their best to meet the needs of patients.
"Yes, there are roles played by other health workers to make the management of our patients fully effective.
"Unfortunately, we may not have optimal management of patients care right now.
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"But, we are doing our best to meet up patients’ needs as required based on the available resources we have. "
In his remarks, Ibe Nwokenta, the Chairman, Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU), Lagos State chapter, said that there was no going back on the strike unless their demands were met.
"To suspend the strike is not on sight. If government answers us today, then, we will suspend the strike.
"But, if government did not answer us, our efforts can never be in futility. We are not going to accept it that way."
JOHESU on November 13 went on an indefinite strike to press home their demands.