On 17/Jul/2014 / In Medical News
The Joint Health Sector Union has taken the Nigeria Medical Association to court for going on strike, claiming that the NMA lacks the constitutional right to do so.
Joined in the suit are the Federal Ministry of Health, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, the Registrar of trade unions, and the Attorney-General of the Federation.
Speaking at a press conference called by JOHESU in Ibadan on Wednesday, the General Secretary of the Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions, Moshood Akinade, said the doctors acted in an unprofessional manner by their refusal to treat patients, adding that JOHESU has challenged the action of the doctors in court.
Among other things, JOHESU is challenging the constitutional rights of NMA to call for a strike particularly when it is not a legally registered trade union.
“We have presented eight points in court which will show that NMA is acting unconstitutionally when the court rules. Their strike is illegal and all what the doctors want is to scuttle the effort and agreement that JOHESU has reached with the Federal Government.
The doctors are punishing the masses and denying them the right to medical care in government hospitals. The patients can institute a joint action against the doctors if they wish to fight back,” Akinade said. He went further to list some of the demands that JOHESU wanted the court to declare, saying “NMA and its incorporated trustees as well as associates and allies like Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria and Association of Resident Doctors are not trade union organisations so they have no legal rights to declare a strike. WWW.MEDICALWORLDNIGERIA.COM
“They also don’t have the legal right to disrupt the career progression of members of JOHESU in teaching hospitals, general hospitals, clinics, federal medical centres and state institutions where our members are employees.
“We want the court to declare their action null and void because only registered trade union organisations can declare a trade dispute, down tool, embark on a strike or a protest. We also seek an order of the court deeming the industrial action embarked upon by the doctors since July 1, 2014 as illegal, unconstitutional, unprofessional and ultra vires.” www.medicalworldnigeria.com
JOHESU alleged that NMA was working against its members by making demands that would limit the career peak to which non-doctors could reach in the health sector and that the doctors were the biggest beneficiaries of the strike because patients now patronise their hospitals.
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