Senate President, David Mark, on Thursday, appealed to the striking doctors under the aegis of the Nigeria Medical Association to rise up to the current national emergency by calling off their ongoing industrial action.
Mark who stated this in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Paul Mumeh, in Abuja, also directed the Senate Committee on Health to collaborate with the relevant agencies to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola disease.
He said, “The striking medical doctors should see the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in the country as a national emergency that necessitate the immediate suspension of their strike and return to duty.”
He asked the doctors to be patriotic enough to put aside whatever grievances or misgivings they had and return to their duty posts.
He noted that failure to hearken to this national call, was akin to sentencing the citizens of Nigeria to untimely deaths.
He also pointed out that the continued strike of the doctors will be a disservice to humanity and a total betrayal of their noble and revered profession .
He reminded them of the Hippocratic oath they swore to on graduation that their primary duty was to save lives, far above other considerations.
He said part of the modern Hippocratic oath written in 1964 by Academic Dean of the school of medicine at the Tufts University, was that doctors would prevent diseases whenever they can, for prevention is preferable to cure.
Mark said, “For the avoidance of doubts, nobody is opposed to the Doctors’ demands. They are genuine and I think they are reasonable.
“But What is paramount now is that there is an emergency that demands extra-ordinary measures to tackle.”
He expressed optimism that the Federal Government would do the needful to address their grievances.
Mark appreciated the huge challenges faced by the doctors and other healthcare providers and urged them to rigidly apply universal precautions while attending to their patients.
He also enjoined all citizens to constantly practise good personal hygiene in their homes, offices, shops, schools and other work places to halt the possible spread of the disease.
Mark, according to the statement, has equally directed the Senate Committee on Health to collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Health and other health institutions in the fight against the Ebola virus disease.
He said the National Assembly was taking the Ebola virus disease case as a national emergency and has in the meantime embarked on sensitisation programme on the matter.