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Strike: PFN slams FG, wants emergency declared in health, education sectors

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Nina Loveth |

The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria has called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the Health and Education Sectors.

PFN also asked the Federal Government to “immediately” convoke Education and Health summits to comprehensively address the challenges facing the two critical sectors.

This was contained in a press statement by the organisation titled, ‘FN calls for declaration of State of Emergency in the Health and Education Sectors’.

The statement, which was signed by PFN’s National President, Bishop (Dr) Francis Wale Oke, also faulted the Federal Government’s manner of handling industry actions in the education and health sectors.

The statement read in part, “The summits proposed should bring together Stakeholders in the sectors, State and local governments, the private sector, development partners, non-governmental organisations, Labour Unions, Students and other interest groups, to generate policy framework and propose legislations which will serve as basis for immediate, long-term and lasting solutions to put an end to the unending crises in the sectors.

“The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria decries the lethargy with which the Federal Government has handled the on-going strike by the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors, frowns at the allegation by the Doctors that government has failed to keep to the terms of the agreement it entered into with the Medical Doctors.

“We are particularly worried that in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic, Cholera epidemic and other health emergencies, government did not take advantage of the 21-day notice given by the Doctors to resolve the issues and prevent this avoidable crisis that has led to loss of lives and worsening of the condition in an already imperilled sector.

The PFN takes notice of the notice that has been issued by the Nigerian Medical Association, the 15-day ultimatum by the Joint Health Sector Unions and Assembly of Health Care Professionals Association, as well as the notice by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) which might plunge the two sectors into another round of crisis. We call on the Federal Government to immediately step in to address all the issues, which the Unions allege stem from the failure of government to keep to previous agreements.

“We are concerned that in the face of the worrying Doctor-Patient ratio, put at between 1-2500 and 1-4000 by different institutions, against the World Health Organisation recommendation of 1-600, the government is not putting the right foot forward to address the increasing wave of Doctors and other professionals migrating abroad in search of greener pastures, further deepening the problem of brain drain that Nigeria is currently faced with.

“A situation in which we have over 20,000 Nigerian-born Physicians practising in the United Kingdom while we have less than 40,000 Doctors on the register at home does not augur well for the country.”

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