The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) has called on the federal government to declare a state of emergency in the health and education sectors.

The group also wants the government to immediately convoke education and health summits to comprehensively address the challenges facing the sectors.

In a press statement issued on Wednesday and signed by its president, Francis Oke, a bishop, it noted that the summit would bring together stakeholders in both sectors including state and local governments, the private sector, development partners, non-governmental organisations, labour unions, students and other interest groups.

“Their coming together should generate a policy framework which will serve as the basis for immediate, long-term and lasting solutions to put an end to the unending crises in the sectors,” the statement reads in part.

On doctors’ strike

Mr Oke also condemned the attitude of the federal government towards the ongoing strike by the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).

“We are particularly worried that in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, cholera epidemic and other health emergencies, the 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.”

He said PFN is aware of the warning given to the FG by the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), the 15-day ultimatum by the Joint Health Sector Unions and Assembly of Health Care Professionals Association (JOHESU), as well as the notice by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) which might plunge the two sectors into another round of crisis.

He, therefore, called on the government to immediately address all the issues, which the unions allege stem from the failure of the government to keep to previous agreements.

Brain drain

Speaking on brain drain in the medical field, he said the group is concerned about the doctor-patient ratio in the country.

“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. A situation where we have over 20,000 Nigerian-born physicians practicing in the United Kingdom while we have less than 40,000 doctors on the register at home does not augur well for the country,” PFN said.

PFN said it is pleased that the vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, a professor, is making efforts to resolve the NARD issue.


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