Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has commended the Joint Action Committee of Medical and Dental Consultants and National Association of Resident Doctors for shunning the strike called by the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress, saying they have shown maturity and are abiding to their Hippocratic oath to save lives.
Speaking yesterday at a meeting with the union, Governor Oshiomhole also said he has met over seventy percent of the demands of the NLC/TUC and that their 10.5% Teachers’ Special Allowance demand falls under the purview of the Local Government Authorities and not the state government.
Speaking on the strike called by the NLC in the state, the Governor said, “we have granted about seventy percent of what they asked for; the other one we have said no case at all and the other one I said, fine, we will address it. So I honestly don’t know what is left. They told me they would communicate to me after a meeting with their congress, but they went to lock the gates. They went to the State Assembly, whose salary is totally different, they went there and locked the gates. I have allowed them because only God knows how many strikes I have organized in my life and therefore when people are on strike, whether or not they are right, I don’t want to be seen to be reacting as if it’s something I’m not familiar with.”
Oshiomhole however heaped praises on the medical workers for shunning the strike, saying “I want to commend your leadership for not calling your colleagues to participate in a strike action that would have effectively paralysed the health delivery system in the State. This certainly would have led to avoidable deaths of several innocent persons.
“I thought I owe you that explanation that I do appreciate your members for not being part of the strike but you have chosen to be on the side of the people. Not because you do not have grievances or that you cannot participate, but you have chosen to put the people first.
“I want to appreciate the compassion, your commitment to professional ethics and your show of restraint. I assure you that when you demonstrate such quality, it is not and cannot be interpreted as a mark of weakness”, he said.
The Governor assured them that government was committed to giving adequate attention to their welfare noting the decreasing allocation from the Federation account has been a big challenge.
He assured the health workers that Government would meet with them in February, next year as previously agreed with a view to resolving some of the issues they have.
Responding, Chairman of Joint Action Committee of Medical and Dental Consultants, Dr Patrick Okundia commended the Governor for his giant strides in the health sector, saying “we have a lot of challenges in the health sector which includes infrastructure and welfare which you are already addressing. We want to thank you most sincerely for the recent ban on okada, the mortality rate in our hospitals have reduced since the ban. It takes a leader with a strong heart to take that decision, and we are all benefitting from the gains.”