By Saikou Suwareh Jabai
The Gambia Resident Doctors may soon return to work if their demands are met.
The striking doctors had a meeting with the Vice President, Madam Fatoumatta Jallow Tambajang, at her office on Wednesday 21st March 2018, as part of Government’s efforts to resolve the stalemate.
The vice president on behalf of Government, apologized to the doctors for the Health Minister’s corruption allegations.
“As a leader, one must be able to apologize for the greater good. I also reassured them of my commitment with the procurement of drugs and other resources needed, to save our Gambian citizens,” the VP was quoted as saying.
She said both parties have agreed that the best way forward is to go back to work in a condition that is conducive.
“As a mother, I reminded them that as they grow, they should always remember this: ‘Do not ask what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country’,” VP said.
The vice president reassured the doctors of Government’s commitment in restructuring the health sector as well as the procurement of drugs and other resources needed to save Gambian and other human lives.
The Vice President of the Resident Doctors Dr. Neneh Bah, said they told VP Tambajang that they are demanding for the restructuring of the health system, involving them in the decision-making issues of the health sector and to be provided with drugs and other resources in order to enable them do their work effectively. She said the VP acknowledged the fact that there are shortages of drugs and will engage the relevant authorities to enhance the situation.
“We have given them a timeframe to work on these things and we will keep engaging them in dialogue,” Dr. Bah.
As it stands, Bah said the VP’s office will write an agreement document which both parties will look at and sign it if they reached an accord on it. Asked when exactly they will return to work, Bah replied that as soon as they receive the said document, agree with the terms in it and sign.
Dr. Neneh refuted rumors that their association has refused to talk to the authorities, saying the rumors are ‘baseless’ because they have met several Government authorities including the National Assembly Committee for Health and the Medical Advisory Group of the Ministry of Health.