The meeting between The Association of Non-governmental Organisation (TANGO) and Gambia Association of Resident Doctors is the worst hypocrisy and facade ever. It is a total nonsense. The whole thing has the hallmark of undermining the Barrow Administration. Why bringing up institutional and administrative reforms now and not before? These doctors have no more credibility left under their skin. Their “sit-down” lacks the support of the public. In any civilized democracy, caution is used in certain sensitive sectors of society when it comes to striking. The Police, Doctors and Fire service officers are barred from striking. What they do instead is to protest their concern which is considered normal and acceptable. These three vital sectors of any society are barred through legislation in some countries for embarking on strike. Lives are at stake here. Our doctors came to realize this at the eleventh hour and therefore they have their tales between their legs. And yes they were after their own ego as they stated but are trying to deny this fact.
Now they want to use our Vice President as a mediator for their unjustified action. All this is to simply find an exit way out of their artificially crafted creation. The Gambia Resident Doctor’s Association and their members have put themselves in a corner and to uphold their prestige, they came with demands through TANGO and the Vice President. If this is not handled carefully it risks creating a serious rift in the government of President Adama Barrow which is believed to be the ultimate goal.
The nation is very outraged by this irresponsible behaviour by our doctors who are supposed to save lives. By involving the Vice President Aja Fatoumatta Tambajang to their shameful course and attaching new demands, this unlawful “strike” had been taken to a new level. What it does not deserves is legality. Do not be fooled or be mistaken; it is the same people who are more or less against the new dispensation order in the Gambia. A couple of months ago, it was the same people are calling themselves Gambian activists who paid a courtesy visit to the Vice President. Now they felt it is time for reciprocity from the vice presidency.
Yes, mediation is healthy in all disputes but by attaching conditions ahead of a suggested mediation shows that there is a sinister agenda hence caution is what is needed from the Vice President.
Remember it was these doctors who demanded an apology or resignation from the Minister of health Mrs Saffie Lowe. The minister did reluctantly apologize and now the doctors took another unexpected move. Is it a coincidence? No, absolutely not. A well-calculated move.
Did the doctors see the apology from minister Lowe as a weakness on the government side? Probably YES. Therefore their bold and new confrontation demand for institutional and administrative change.
The Gambia Resident Doctors are trying to give legality to what everyone sees as illegal activity and even against human rights. It is a human right for all citizens of a nation to have access to a physician according to a World Health Organization (WHO) charter or constitution of 1946. Where this is not forthcoming has to do with capacity constraints, lack of medical facilities and infrastructure that can halt the doctors from performing their responsibilities. That is then and when the government is liable. This is absolutely not the case in the Gambia, and at least the current situation didn’t commence from lack of institutional reform.
Had the action of the doctors started with the demand for institutional and administrative change in the health sector, I can assume that the doctors would have gained some sympathy and empathy from the general public. As far as the situation is concerned this is the not the case.
TANGO is the self-appointed organization that is part of the supposed mediation effort. This is the civil activist organizsation that was completely mute and in hibernation for 22 terrible years during the brutal days of Yahya Jammeh. Now with the New Gambia, they have the audacity to show us their double moral in pretending to be credible mediators. The suspicion and cynicism are why the Vice President for the choice of meditation when in fact she is part of the same government the Gambia Resident Doctors are having an argument with? Is it not cynical to you? It does for many.
Children are very vulnerable in societies like ours and I can see children suffering more under this inhuman action by our own doctors. The price the Gambian patients are paying is very high.
This madness needs to stop immediately. That should be the unequivocal message to the Gambia Resident Doctors Association and their members. The general public is very angry and they are the one who pays your salaries through tax money.