President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday April 7, appealed to members of the National Association of Resident Doctors to shelve their proposed strike and give the Federal Government more time to address their grievances. NARD announced on Monday April 4, that it was embarking on an indefinite strike after a 21-day notice served to Federal Government to meet their demands expires.
According to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President made the appeal at a meeting he had with the leadership of the Nigerian Medical Association at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
At the meeting, the President called for greater understanding and support from doctors and all Nigerians in view of the present shortfall in national revenue, brought about by the decline of crude oil price.
Decrying the adverse impact of the fall in oil prices on the Federal Government’s spending plans for health and other sectors, the President assured the doctors of his administration’s commitment to do its best to address issues that were of concern to doctors and Nigerians.
He also gave the NMA delegation an insight into his administration’s plan to establish 10,000 primary healthcare centres across the country in the next two years, with the objective of providing better healthcare for about 100 million Nigerians, assuring the delegation, led by the NMA President, Dr. Kayode Obembe, that the National Health Act will soon be put in a gazette and a steering committee appointed to oversee its implementation.
The President also urged Pharmacists Society of Nigeria (PSN), to work more closely with the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to curb the sale of fake drugs in the country.
And in response,the President of PSN, Ahmed Ibrahim Yakasai, assured the President that pharmacists in Nigeria were ready to work in harmony with other professionals in the health sector to help the Federal Government achieve its objective of improving the healthcare services in the country.