We’ll apply ‘No work, No pay’ rule, Health Ministry tells striking resident doctors
Striking members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) have been told not to expect their salary for the period their current strike, which began on January 19, will last.
In a circular to all chief medical directors and medical directors of government hospitals signed by the Head, Department of Hospital Services Dr. Wapada I. Balami, the ministry directed the hospital officials to ensure strict enforcement of the Federal Government’s “No Work No pay” policy in their various institutions.
The Ministry also enjoined the hospitals to provide critical services like accident and emergency, Labour, Intensive care Unit, amongst others “by legal means including employment of Locum staff.”
The circular further reads: “You may recall that Mr. President has just recently flagged off the National Health Act (NHA) 2014 which provides that Health is an essential service. Therefore, any strike in the Health Sector is illegal.
“You are also directed to ensure security of lives and property of every one including patients and staff. All members of staff who are willing to work must be allowed to go about their duties unhindered and unmolested.
“Please you are to provide update on the strike as it affects your institution.”
The resident doctors commenced a seven-day warning strike yesterday to enforce their demand for a uniform template for the Residency Programme, infrastructure for tertiary health facilities, proper grading of doctors and payment of outstanding salaries, amongst other issues.
Dr. Kenneth Uwaje, the outgoing NARD President said the warning strike was to ensure a better health care for Nigerians.
“This strike would have been indefinite, but it is a warning strike because we are considering our patients. We are demanding for a revitalised residency training programme, implementation of the National Health Act 2014, and payment of arrears of our allowances, among other things.
“The National Health Act is all encompassing as it would ensure universal health coverage in the country, and all Nigerians will be well catered for. As a doctor, when I am well equipped with training and remuneration, I will deliver well. All this will redeem our healthcare system.
“The strike is basically to make the government do the needful and ensure that health of Nigerians is guaranteed,” he said.