- The federal government has revealed that it tried to stop doctors from embarking on their ongoing strike action
- According to Senator Chris Ngige, the doctors did nothing concerning their rights until the coronavirus pandemic
- Going further, the minister listed many things the federal government did to support the striking doctors
In a message that will surprise many Nigerians, the federal government has revealed that it tried to stop the ongoing nationwide strike by the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors, Punch Newspaper reports.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige.
According to the minister, it was Buhari administration that wanted things for the doctors at the beginning.
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"The doctors were sleeping on their rights until COVID-19 pandemic broke out last year,” and the Federal Government felt that the N5000 hazard allowance paid to them since 1991 was too paltry."
Going further, he enumerated steps the FG took to make life better for the doctors, New Telegraph added.
He noted that the FG paid the doctors and other health workers bumper money as a special COVID hazard allowance to the tune of N32 billion, while states were told to pay as much as they could afford.
“In September 2020, they put a notice of strike, asking for Medical Residency Training Fund by which each of them will get N542, 000 to cover the cost of books and journals for that particular examination, transportation, and lodging for three days.
“Luckily, a supplementary budget was being put together and it was included and was paid to them. They called off the strike. By March this year, they listed other things again. They said the Residency Training Fund is not in the 2021 budget. They also needed the hazard allowance to be upgraded and demanded that states should domesticate Residency Training Act. They said some states owed their people long months of salaries. They also wanted to skip allowance and arrears of consequential adjustment to minimum wage."
Striking doctors to face no work, no pay policy henceforth - FG
In another report, chief medical directors and managing directors of federal tertiary hospitals have been called upon by the ministry of labour and employment to invoke the no work, no pay policy on members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) who are still on strike.
The letter which was dated Thursday, August, 26, and signed by the director of hospital services, federal Ministry of health, Adebimpe Adebiyi.
Adebiyi noted that the decision is in line with Section 43(1) (A) of the Trade Dispute Act, Cap T8, Law of the Federation of Nigeria (LGN) 2004. The directive stated that doctors who engage in the action will be denied their benefits and salaries for as long as the strike continues.
Saudi Arabia holds recruitment exercise for Nigerian doctors in Lagos, Abuja
Meanwhile, many medical doctors in Nigeria had applied for job positions with the Saudi Arabia ministry of health at a recruitment exercise organised by the ministry in Ikeja, the Lagos state capital, on Sunday, August 22.
The job offer was for consultants and specialists in all medical fields, excluding psychiatrists.
Among those present for the interview were medical consultants and doctors in various areas of specialisation.
Each applicant paid N10,000 as the application fee after which medical certificates, means of identification, and other documents were tendered.
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.