President Muhammadu Buhari has urged the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to set aside its proposed strike and give the federal government more time to address their grievances.
He assured that his administration will honour any agreement duly entered into with the doctors.
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 in crude oil prices.
Decrying the adverse effect of the fall in oil prices on the federal government’s spending plans for health and other sectors, the President said his administration will continue to do its best to address issues that are of concern to doctors and other Nigerians.
The president 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.
He also told the delegation led by NMA president, Kayode Obembe, that the National Health Act will soon be gazetted and a steering committee appointed to oversee its implementation.
The minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, described the plan to establish more healthcare centres as “the single most ambitious health plan for the poor in the history of Nigeria”.
In his remarks at the meeting, Obembe called for the implementation of the report of the Yayale Ahmed Committee on better relations among professional groups in the health sector.
The NMA president also called for fast-tracking of the implementation of the National Health Act.