NARD Strike: NMA President Makes U-turn, Says Govt Has Failed Doctors
The President of National Medical Doctors Association (NMA), Professor Mike Ogirima has made a U-turn from his earlier assertion that the industrial action by National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) is wrong and that the resident doctors were not supposed to go on strike.
Ogirima, who appeared on Channels Television Sunrise Daily, on Wednesday, is now calling on the Federal Government to yield to the demands of the resident doctors. He noted that doctors do not trust the Federal Government anymore because the government has failed them.
“Government called them for negotiation. Agreements were reached, promises were made but the doctors never got the light of the day. Government on his own part cannot be trusted any longer, that is the core of the matter.
“The move by government was belated. The resident doctors gave a 21-day ultimatum. Within that period, I was mediating and calling on the doctors not to go on the strike. After the 21-day ultimatum elapsed, there was another 14 days’ strike ultimatum issued by the doctors but the government did not act. The government has failed them severally.”
In an earlier reaction to the strike, the Professor of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery had condemned the action of the resident doctors saying they should consider the damaging effect of their action which will lead to deaths of patients, a situation against their Hippocratic oath.
“NARD taking this decision is wrong but two wrongs cannot make a right. We are appealing that the strike they are declaring today should not come into being. We still have up till the end of the day to appeal to them. NARD should not equate themselves with ASUU. Death from ASUU is a long term effect. Death from NARD strike is immediate. Our patients will die and that is not the oath we take as doctors.
“The resident doctors form the largest affiliate body of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA). The consultants are not supposed to be on strike.”
He however stressed the fact that the government was at fault by delaying negotiations with the doctors. “I condemn the government in every front. Right from their delay to the point of negotiations, having negotiations, Memorandum of Understanding, the doctors are no more trusting the government officials.
“The point I condemned the strike was that they would have waited for me as their father by bringing me forward to mediate between them and the government.”