• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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No work, no pay: Doctors warn of deepening health crisis

As the current industrial impasse between resident doctors in Nigeria under the auspices of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) and the Federal Government worsens, doctors have informed Nigerians not to blame them if the already deteriorated health system worsens.

As the industrial impasse between Nigerian resident doctors, represented by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), and the Federal Government escalates, doctors caution against holding them responsible for further deterioration of the already struggling health system.

This warning comes as the doctors, on Friday, disregarded a warning in a circular issued by the Federal Ministry of Health to implement the ‘no work, no pay’ policy on their striking members.

Dr. Emeka Orji, President of NARD, expressed his dissatisfaction with the ministry’s response in a press interview, labelling it as insensitive and unwilling to resolve the labour dispute.

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The Federal Government had earlier instructed hospitals to maintain an attendance register for all resident doctors and directed Chief Medical Directors and Medical Directors of Federal Tertiary Hospitals to enforce the ‘no work, no pay’ policy for striking NARD members.

The circular, dated August 1 and titled “Re: Incessant strike action by the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors: Implementation of ‘No Work, No Pay’ policy of the Federal Government,” was signed by Dr. Andrew Noah, the Director of Hospital Services.

Despite various conciliatory meetings with government stakeholders, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, and the National Assembly, NARD has not called off its indefinite strike, leading the Ministry of Health to implement the ‘No Work, No Pay’ policy.

Dr. Orji expressed frustration with the Ministry’s response, asserting that the blame-shifting and lack of ministerial leadership have hindered progress on resolving the issues.

NARD began its indefinite strike on July 26, following a two-week ultimatum to the government to meet their demands.

These demands include the implementation of the one-for-one replacement policy for healthcare workers, halting the downgrading of membership certificates by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, immediate payment of salary arrears, the implementation of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure, new hazard allowances, and domestication of the Medical Residency Training Act.