Strike threat: Obaseki says doctors’ demands unrealistic, plans backup

Strike threat: Obaseki says doctors’ demands unrealistic, plans backup

Monday, March 19, 2018 8:24 pm

R-L: Governor Obaseki; Chairman, Governing Board, UBTH, Bashorun Adedoja Adewole; CMD of UBTH, Prof. Darlington Obaseki, and Member, Governing Board, UBTH, Alhaji (Dr.) Aliyu Wammako

Jethro Ibileke/Benin

To avoid being caught off guard and allow patients seeking medical help at the various public health facilities in the State to suffer, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, has disclosed that the government is making packup plans, should doctors in the State make good their threat of embarking on strike.

The Governor disclosed this Monday when he received the newly inaugurated members of the Governing Board of the University Of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), at the Government House, in Benin City.

Following threats by the State Chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), to embark on strike, Obaseki said that the State government is making arrangement for private health care providers to offer essential services to patients in its hospitals, saying that the demands by the NMA are unrealistic.

He said the State government will write to the national body of NMA as the Edo State chapter of the association “has threatened to shut down the health system in the state following their unrealistic demands.

“We believe that the doctors’ demands are unrealistic, having been part of the steps taken so far to improve the conditions of service of medical doctors in the state. They see what we are doing and yet have threatened to go on strike because I cannot afford to fulfil 100 per cent of their demands.”

The Governor who accused the doctors of not being fair to the State, added; “we agree with their demands but cannot afford all the demands now, rather we will spread them across four years of this administration, but the Edo NMA rejected the offer and insists on embarking on strike.

“We are looking at various ways to execute our health reforms but will not allow anyone to blackmail us. We have been open, honest and have carried NMA along in all our activities till date.

“We will be talking to private health practitioners to help us and I have told them that I cannot afford all their requests at once. We are already making backup plans to take care of our people, if we are constrained to.”

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