- Pressure is on Nigerian striking doctors from federal government officials to call off their strike immediately
- Dr Chris Ngige, the minister of labour and employment, wants the doctors to consider that their main duty is to save lives
- The minister noted that going on strike while patients languish in federal medical centres is like playing god
FCT, Abuja - The minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige, has counselled striking doctors in the country to be humble and carry themselves with dignity.
The Punch newspaper reports that the minister gave the advice while speaking at a summit on Thursday, August 12.
Ngige, a medical doctor, was reacting to the current strike by medical doctors in the country.
Expressing concerns over the state of health nationwide, the minister asked the doctors not to:
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“Play God or compete with God.”
“God does not want when he gives you powers you use it to try to say that you are like him or you are competing with him.
“God loves you to do that which he has asked you to do; to use that power with humility.
“Doctors should ask themselves questions; why is it that it is when your colleagues are in government that you go on the greatest number of strikes?
“Some of these colleagues were Presidents, Secretaries-General of the Nigerian Medical Association and even NARD (Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors).”
The minister lamented that the Buhari-led government has faced about four strikes since 2015.
Concerns over strike during a pandemic
The Voice of America reports that the latest strike is raising concerns as Nigeria confronts a third wave of the coronavirus, triggered by the deadly delta variant.
NARD, however, says doctors will remain on strike unless all their demands are met.
On his part, the minister of health, Dr Osagie Ehanire has advised striking members of NARD to resume duties while negotiations between both parties continue.
The minister added that the ‘No Work, No Pay’ rule is not a punitive measure but a provision of the Internal Labour Organisation.
He wondered why medical practitioners expect to get their salaries from taxpayers' money while they are at home on strike.
Doctors strike: APC governors intervention hits deadlock
Meanwhile, it was reported that the ongoing resident doctors’ strike would continue as the intervention by the house of representatives on the dispute between the government and the NARD after two days of marathon meetings hit a deadlock.
The House committee on healthcare services on Tuesday, August 10, failed to convince the resident doctors in calling off the ongoing industrial action across the country.
The chairman of the house committee on healthcare services, Tanko Sununu, said the stakeholders, including the federal ministries of health; finance, budget and national planning; labour, employment and productivity had agreed to address some of the issues.