The past week has seen a lot of back and forth between officials from the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare on one hand, and the Association of Resident Doctors on the other.
The doctors were angered by remarks attributed to the minister claiming that it is the corruption of doctors that is hindering the health sector of the country. They (the doctors) threatened to go on a sit-down strike unless the minister resigns in forty-eight hours which took effect last week and is expected to continue.
Clearly, this cannot – should not – be allowed to continue for long. Doctors staying away from hospitals is a disaster which can have catastrophic consequences and as such, whatever needs to be done should be done as a matter of urgency so that the doctors can go back to their jobs. The country at this stage cannot lose a huge number of citizens because there is no doctor in the hospitals.
Thus, the best and fastest way to solve this problem is through dialogue. There should be a dialogue between the aggrieved doctors and the officials from the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. They both need each other because they are interdependent. There wouldn’t have been a viable ministry of health if there were no doctors. The doctors also are employed by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. So, they must find a way to patch up their relationship for the betterment of the Gambian masses.
Whether there is merit in the minister’s claims or not does not matter to the sick poor man; or, the mother whose child is battling malaria. All they need is care from a doctor so that they can regain their health and go on with their lives. For the sake of these vulnerable people; therefore, the people concerned should come together and resolve the issue amicably, and as quickly as possible.