Dr Idi Hong, the former Minister of State for Health, has advised health workers to shun strikes and embrace dialogue in addressing their demands in the interest of the health sector.
Hong gave the advice in Abuja at a reception in honour of Dr Joshua Ndom-Giyan, the out-gone Medical Director of Federal Medical Centre, Keffi, Nasarawa State.
He enjoined workers to consider strikes as their last weapon to press home their demands in order to save human lives, noting that industrial action had brought untold hardship to many Nigerians especially the privileged who do not have the means to access private healthcare services in the country.
“I congratulate Dr Giyan and we thank God that you have finished well, and we advise you to be there for advice and consultation where necessary. Don’t abandon the hospital.
“First and foremost, I want to call on our medical colleague, please strike should be the last resort. The consequences of going on strike in hospitals is people suffering and dying.
“Any day, you see that there is a strike in the hospital, go and count the casualties because of the effect of the strike.
“If you have issue as labour union, please engage the management, work closely and more intensive, and avoid strike at all the time,” he said.
Hong also urged Nigerians to unite in the interest of peace and national development.
Also speaking, a former Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, congratulated Ndom-Giyan for successful completion of his eight-year tenure as medical director.
“I thank God for guiding him. I thank all the people that worked with him to ensure that he succeeded.
“In fact, among medical directors that worked with me, he was among the best five and I am here to celebrate excellence,” he said.
The former minister also preached unity and peaceful co-existence among Nigerians.
Responding, Ndom-Giyan appreciated the guests and prayed God to bless them.
He also thanked the Federal Government for appointing him twice as the medical director of the centre.
The out-gone medical director described his eight years as eventful considering his modest achievements at the centre which have direct bearing on the lives of Nigerians.
He listed some of the capital projects initiated and inaugurated during his tenure between April 2010 and March 2018 to include building of the Accident and Emergency Unit, Family Medicine Complex, Pharmacy Complex, Intensive Care Unit, Obstetrics and Gynaecology Complex and Sickle Cell Disease Zonal Centre.
Ndom-Giyan said he also introduced the Central Information Technology and Telemedicine, NHIS Unit and C-T Scan services at the centre.
Electronic Medical Records (EMR), 200 KVA solar power; new Administrative Complex, Isolation Unit and Electronic Personnel Record, among others, were also executed by him, he said.