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Strike Continues As FG, Doctors Fail To Reach Agreement



NARD strike

There seems to be no end yet to the industrial action embarked on by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) following a six hours meeting with the house of representatives committee on health services and federal government on Tuesday.

The representatives at the meeting include Olorunnimbe Mamora, minister of state for health; Emmanuel Meribole, permanent secretary, office of the head of service; Ben Akabueze, director-general of the budget office of the federation; Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, president of NARD, among others.

While addressing officials at the meeting on Tuesday, the NARD president cited experiences of doctors in hospitals across the country, especially as it related to payment of salaries.

“We need to get something right, and getting something right is when we tell ourselves the truth. Why we are still on strike today is because of the ministry of health, mostly — my apologies to the minister of health. I will say it as it is,” he said.

“We have been honoured that the speaker came to see us and invited us four times. This is the second time we are going on a strike in this year. Why are we having these bottlenecks? Because some people are not doing their jobs.”

However, Tanko Sununu, chairman of the committee, asked the resident doctors to work with the ministry of health to come up with an agreement reached at the meeting.

Okhuaihesuyi insisted that the meeting has not resolved the issues raised by the resident doctors, adding that no agreement has been reached.

‘No Work, No Pay’

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, had in an interview on Channels TV said FG was ready to invoke the “no-work-no-pay” rule as contained in Section 43 of the Labour Act.

He also claimed to have communicated the ministry’s stance to the leadership of NARD.

In response, NARD President told The Punch; “We are aware that they are going to bring down registers tomorrow. We are aware that they have spoken to chief medical directors on that. We are aware they have sent a circular on no-work, no-pay to all teaching hospitals.

“We are not aware if they have answered our ultimatum. What have they done in trying to convince the younger ones to go back to work when they have not answered our Memorandum of Action which was signed on March 29 and April 9? So, these are the big questions.

“You are in government and you want to discipline a child, you beat the child but you still hold the mouth of the child to prevent him from crying out.

“You had 116 days since you signed a Memorandum of Action which was time-bound and you had six weeks but as of tomorrow it will be 117 days and you have not done anything. Will you bully your child that you have not paid for months and still want to impose a no-work, no-pay policy?

“He (Ngige) has already written to the chief medical directors of hospitals and we are aware they are invoking the no-work-no-pay policy already, but we are not resuming yet,” Okhuaihesuyi said.

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