The Nigeria Society of Physiotherapy (NSP) has on different platforms condemned the ongoing strike action by the Nigerian Medical Association. The NSP views the strike action as unjustifiable and illegitimate. The NMA overstepped her bound for engaging in industrial action as a non registered trade union. The NMA is not greater than the law of the land and should be called to order with immediate effect by the relevant law enforcement agents of government as their current action is in violation of the law of the land.
Presently, patients needing Physiotherapy care across the country are being attended to by Physiotherapists. This is in line with our passion “For the service of mankind” and “Our hands aid healing and recovery” to our father land, Nigeria. We therefore implore Nigerians to avail themselves the opportunity to visit any government Physiotherapy centres or clinics in the environs. Physiotherapists are not on strike. Every profession in the health care industry has the obligation and the potential to lead. In particular, Physiotherapists have demonstrated the key traits of leadership described by researchers and authors throughout the ages. The question then arises; if NMA intend to continue to lead do they truly poses managerial skills, knowledge, ability to work effectively as a team player with a clear and compelling vision for the health sector? In addition as Leadership expert Jim Collins highlighted, author of the acclaimed book “Good to Great” found that level 5 leaders who have humility and professional will power (described as heroic by some authors') are required for truly great companies and organizations. The NMA has failed in the monopoly of leadership and need to give way to others who can do it better.
The NSP will like to draw the attention of the Federal government and the good people of Nigeria that NMA is on a cheap ego trip. It beats our imagination that an association will want to compel President Goodluck Jonanthan to approve the position of Surgeon-General and some other demands that are not under the purview of Mr. President for approval. It should be recalled that that the 6th National Assembly threw off the proposal of Surgeon-General and the proposal suffered similar fate at the National CONFAB. The NSP reaffirm that we do not need the position of Surgeon-General that will amount to wastage of resources and duplication of functions of the Minister of Health.The NSP therefore implore NMA to embrace the dynamics of change and wake up to reality and call off the strike action without delay. It is the opinion of the NSP that the ongoing strike action of the NMA is untimely as the country is going through grief. This is the time for all and sundry to rise up to the occasion and support government especially as Nigeria just recorded the first EBOLA virus case.
The Way Forward:
i. 1. Conflict resolution strategies- Adequate conflict management processes may require major system-wide realignment of policies, process and dynamics within the organization and as such we must be ready to do all that is required if we are to find lasting solution to the current disharmony.
ii. 2. Patient/client centered best practices. The interest of the patients must be uppermost at all times.
iii. 3. All associations and unions in the health care industry must embrace peace and unity.
iv. 4. Remuneration to all health care professionals to be based on what they do and their worth. NSP canvass for the utilization of 2007 job evaluation circular for health care professionals.
v. 5. All professions in health to embrace team spirit.
vi. 6. Regular dialogues among the professions should be encouraged from time to time.
Oyewumi Taiwo Joseph Bakare Ummukulthoum