Strike: Resident Doctors Fault Ngige, Insist Demands Must Be Met
The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has faulted the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige and the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire on the government’s position regarding the industrial action.
Ngige had on April 2 warned that Federal Government will implement the ‘no work, no pay’ on the striking National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) if they refuse to resume work.
He also insisted that the government had met the demands of the striking doctors, wondering why they were yet to call off the industrial action despite efforts by the Federal Government.
The doctors had called for the immediate payment of all salaries owed to all house officers, including March salaries (regardless of quota system) before the end of business on March 31.
They also demanded the immediate payment of all salary arrears, including March salaries for members in all Federal (GIFMIS platform) and State Tertiary Health Institutions across the country, especially ASUTH, IMSUTH, and UNIMEDTH among several others.
But speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, NARD President, Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, insisted that their demands must be met.
While noting that the Federal Government has just met one of the seven demands, he accused the current administration of insincerity.
“Is there sincerity there that you expect us to sign then you go to sleep after signing the MoU? We stand on it, we are going to continue the total and indefinite strike until all these are met,” he said.
“You can use the big cane, the antics of government ‘no work no pay’ or bring local doctors because local doctors that can now take over specialist doctors or doctors in training can do surgeries, can be a neurosurgeon, an orthopaedic surgeon or a cardiologist because you want to substitute the truth for falsehood.”
FCT NMA Backs Strike
Meanwhile, the Federal Capital Territory branch of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has backed the strike action declared by the resident doctors as the association maintains a united front in the ongoing industrial action.
Addressing a news conference in Abuja, NMA Chairman the FCT and North-Central, Dr Enema Amodu identified migration of doctors and other health workers in their droves in search of greener pastures, disharmony in the health sector amongst health workers, breakdown or epileptic health care delivery vis a viz strikes and industrial actions of health workforce as some of the problems facing the health sector.
“To my colleague medical doctors, this is not a time for in-fighting, name-calling. This is the time for us to come together and be one,” he said.
“The NARD has taken this fight, they are in the lead. We need to rally round them because the more we support each other, the quicker resolve these issues and get back to our duty posts.
“At this point in time, I call all doctors. Let us all come together and unite as doctors and take on this ugly situation that is going to kill the health profession.”
The resident doctors had on April 1 commenced an industrial action across the country after an ultimatum issued to the Federal Government expired on last week Wednesday.