President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday urged the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to shelve its proposed strike and give the Federal Government time to address the grievances of doctors.
He made the call at a meeting with the leadership of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) at the State House, Abuja.
Buhari, in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, gave the doctors an assurance that no agreements duly entered into by the Federal Government would be dishonoured by his administration.
He called for greater understanding and support from doctors and Nigerians in view of the present short fall in national revenue brought about by the declining crude oil prices.
The President decried the adverse impact of the fall in oil prices on the Federal Government’s spending plans for health and other sectors.
He added that his administration would address issues that are of concern to doctors and other Nigerians.
Buhari also gave the NMA delegation an insight into his administration’s plan to establish 10,000 primary health care centres across the country in the next two years with the objective of providing better health care for about 100 million Nigerians.
He told the delegation, led by NMA President Dr. Kayode Obembe that the National Health Act would soon be gazetted and a steering committee appointed to oversee its implementation.
Minister of Health Prof. Isaac Adewole described the plan to establish more health care centres as “the single most ambitious health plan for the poor in the history of Nigeria”.