Nurses under the aegis of University Graduates of Nursing Science Association (UGONSA) have made a passionate call on the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to shelve its planned strike. The association affirmed that the oath of allegiance sworn to God and humanity by health workers is sacrosanct and no reason is good enough for anyone to breach it in the name of strike.
In a statement issued in Ibadan on Thursday by its National Secretary, Nurse G.I. Nshi, the association decried the incessant strikes in the health sector stating that it is innocent Nigerians that are unnecessarily punished each time care delivery is disrupted by industrial action.
”It is, to say the least, a bop of inhumanity, for anybody to contemplate visiting more hardship on innocent Nigerians that have been significantly crouched by the economic downturn in the country, by grounding healthcare services.
”When the elite have headaches, they travel outside the country to get treatment. It is the ordinary Nigerians, who do not have the wherewithal to go abroad for treatment, that are unnecessarily punished each time the health sector is grounded by strike.
”We appeal passionately to NARD to have a rethink of its position. Striking breaches our oath of allegiance and should in no way be an option at all in the health system that is very critical, to the lives and general well being of the populace, as we cannot ‘re-create’ or recover any life lost to strike.
”We should instead be all preoccupied with how to help lift the country out of its present economic predicament. At a trying period like this, patriotic compatriots think of what they can do to help the country and not how to worsen an already bad situation. Embarking on strike would only add to the woes of ordinary Nigerians.
UGONSA further commended the “change begins with me” drive of President Buhari saying that the campaign is apt, timely and mostly needed in the health sector.
”Ethical values have unfortunately been eroded among our healthcare providers such that at the sound of a “strike gong” they throw away their very essence of living .i.e. the patient, trample upon all ethical values and bastardize the oath of allegiance. Such anomalous behaviour is unacceptable and must be stopped.
”The change must begin with our abiding by our sacred oath of allegiance to God and humanity. We must develop alternative ways of handling industrial disputes other than embarking on strikes.
The association, however, urged government to always be proactive, equitable and prompt in attending to genuine requests or agitation of groups in the health sector to forestall the avoidable scenarios that are usually latched onto to push for industrial actions.
”Government at different levels should not wait until health workers embark on strike before addressing their issues. They should also lead the “change begins with me” campaign, in the health sector, by placing premium on infrastructural upgrade and as well on the welfare of care providers by handling their genuine demands and complaints promptly, inclusively and equitably to properly cover the avoidable lacunas that fuel the unfortunate agitation with strikes- the statement concluded.