Resident doctors’ strike tops agenda at National Council on Health meeting

National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD)

National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD)

Medical doctors under the aegis of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) are set for showdown talk on resident doctors’ strike with the Federal Government.

The Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) and the 36 states commissioners of health are meeting doctors as the 59th National Council on Health (NCH) began in Umuahia, Abia State, yesterday.

The NCH is the highest decision making body in the health sector.

National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), an affiliate of the NMA, last Thursday began a one-week nationwide warning strike in all the teaching hospitals and federal medical centres to protest poor working conditions.

President of the NMA, Dr. Mike Ogirima, told The Guardian yesterday the NARD and NMA are yet to begin talks with the FMoH and that President Muhammadu Buhari who is presently in the United Kingdom (UK) for medical checks as part of his annual leave did not consult Nigerian doctors.

Ogirima said: “We are always against top government officials abandoning us and going abroad for medical treatment. The state of our health institutions is poor. The ministry of health should not sack resident doctors because they are saying the truth. The issues are supposed to top agenda at the NCH, which begins today (Monday) in Umuahia.”

Also, the President Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Idi- Araba, Dr. Adebayo Sekumade, has called on FMoH officials to find lasting solutions to their predicaments saying that the ‘no work no pay’ policy will not break their will.

Sekumade said: “We are fully aware of the ‘no work no pay policy’. We know the policy is illegal; it is anti labour. We are very resolute that it does not matter what you bring to the table, once there is a will there is a way and you cannot use the ‘no work no pay policy’ to cripple our will and we will pursue this to the logical end.”

While blaming the obscure policies for the migration of more than 4,000 Nigeria doctors who should be driving the healthcare system, he also lamented the victimisation of members and that in terms of training, there should be a uniform template to avoid confusion.

The warming strike ends tomorrow.



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