The Joint Health Sector Unions, JOHESU, and Assembly of Health Care Professionals says that as a mere professional body, the Nigerian Medical Association NMA has no right to exercise the privilege of negotiating Collective Bargaining Agreements CBAs, with the government on behalf of its membership.
JOHESU Chairman, Comrade Joy Josiah, made this known in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja, in response to the outburst by NMA against its union.
He said that the tragedy of this aberration is catalysed by their members who hold sway at both the Federal Ministry of Health and Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.
“The attention of JOHESU has been drawn to vituperations directed against it by the loose canons who are in representative capacity at the hitherto vibrant and responsible platform called the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA.
“Typical of the contemporary leadership of the NMA that we have encountered in recent years, the intellectual dwarfs who authenticated the unfortunate NMA position dwelt extensively on propaganda, threats, blackmail and other acts of skulduggery.
“If the NMA spokespersons were discerning wisely, they would have known that even the courts from the National Industrial Courts of Nigeria, High Courts, Appeal Courts and the Supreme Court which have powers to interpret the laws have always recognized JOHESU as a juristic template.
“This is why it can sue and be sued. It is this stupendous ignoramus that the NMA continues to exhibit that does not allow it to know that as a mere professional body, it should not be allowed to exercise the privilege of negotiating CBAs on behalf of its membership.”
Addressing the accusation of blackmailing the Senate and in particular, the Chairman of Senate Committee on Health, Dr. Ibrahim Oloriegbe, he described it as a figment of the imagination of the NMA hierarchy, maintaining that the Senator has been more tyrannical than any other Medical Doctor who has being the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health.
“Dr. Oloriegbe stretched his misnomer at the Public Hearings he has presided on vis the NHIS Amendment Bill and the February 1, 2021 hearing by recognising his Medical Constituents above and over other stakeholders.
“At the Public Hearing of February 1, 2021, JOHESU vividly declares again that Oloriegbe gave MDCN, NMA and a representative of Pathologists the floor three times spanning over fifteen minutes while professions like Pharmacy, Medical Laboratory Science, Nursing, Radiography and JOHESU representative got two minutes each to canvass their positions.
“We challenge Oloriegbe and the NMA brigade to produce video and audio evidence contrary to this! The point here is Oloriegbe does not understand the philosophy and basics of running Public Hearings because he pointedly dominates discussions and debates himself while outrightly disenfranchising the stakeholders.”
Josiah further explained that despite several attempts to draw Oloriegbe’s attention to the fact that Public Hearings at the National Assembly, NASS, even recognise Personal Contributions and not only group representation has always been met by threats of eviction by the Sergent-at-Arms.
“We observed with dismay at the February 1, 2021, Public Hearing that when Oloriegbe was reeling out his “decree” on the rules at that hearing, he insisted references must not be made to court processes or judgements. This is contrary to Order 41 of the Rules of Proceeding of the Senate which empowers the Senate to step down any matter that is pending in a law court when considering any Bill.
“In the light of the foregoing, Section 4(9) must be expunged from the MDCN bill in its entirety in conformity with Order 41 of the Senate rules.
“JOHESU, therefore, insists that the Senate must probe February 1, 2021, Hearing and reorganize the Senate Committee on Health subsequently to prevent vindictive purposelessness associated with the tendencies of the NMA hierarchy as epitomized by Dr. Oloriegbe.”
However, Josiah also lamented that the “grab-grab syndrome and know it all attitude of Nigerian Doctors” is what has wrecked the nation’s health system to become the hallmark of negative health indices as well as a wretched 187 out of 191 Health Systems globally.
He also accused the Federal Ministry of Health
of aiding its Medical Doctors to violate valid court orders and judgement especially as it concerns the management of Clinical Diagnostic Centres which are domiciled in Clinical/Medical Laboratories or X-ray Centres as well as related facilities.
“You do not have to be rich in common-sense to appreciate that this is a direct violation of the professional privileges of Medical Laboratory Scientists and Radiographers who hold sway ordinarily in these diagnostic facilities”