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TUC condemns Health Minister’s call to replace striking workers with casual doctors

UFOMBA UZUEGBU

Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), has condemned the Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole’s alleged call on all Chief Medical Directors and Medical Directors of Federal hospitals to immediately engage the services of casual doctors to augment the services of consultants, National Youth Service Corps doctors and medical doctors on internship pending the resolution of the ongoing strike by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).

TUC President, Comrade Bobboi  Kaigama, in a statement on Wednesday described the Minister’s remarks as  reckless, unguided and  unexpected of a minister of Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He, therefore, called on the Federal Government to also “hire casual Ministers and lawmakers” to run the affairs of the government.

The statement said: “The Congress feels sad that at a time when nations are building strong health sectors ‘the giant of Africa’ sees engagement of casual workers as recipe to the challenge of the health sector.

“The best of Nigerian doctors are abroad doing great; in fact, they treat our politicians who seek medical help abroad. And do you know what? They left this country because of some of the issues that led to the present strike. In other climes issues that bother on health are not treated with kid gloves, because lives are involved. But the reverse is the case here.”

Kaigama, who expressed regret over the Minister’s statement said asking consultants to work overtime while negotiations continue with the National Association of Resident Doctors was dangerous “because we are talking about human life.

“Are they factory workers? How do you persuade a medical doctor that is fagged out to perform a surgery? We are going through enough pains already, trading lives for government’s complacency is most unreasonable. The minister should realise that the hospitals they patronise abroad are not manned by casual doctors.”

The Union President said he was surprised that a university professor and medical doctor will recommend such, saying, he was amazed on how the world of politics could make human mind cruel.

He cited the positive roles played by Prof Adewole during the military regime and described his sudden change as awful and called on the presidency to ignore the quick solution of the minister, saying if government must do as prescribed by the minister then, it should also employ casual state officials such as ministers and special aides.

He said such step will really help the government to save enough money to fix the economy.

For a better society.

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