The Federal Government has directed the Chief Medical Directors and Managing Directors of federal tertiary hospitals to immediately replace striking resident doctors with members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), who are currently undergoing their mandatory one year service at various hospitals.
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, gave the directive in a statement issued on Wednesday, September 9, 2020, while reacting to the ongoing nationwide strike by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).
KanyiDaily recalls that NARD had commenced industrial action on September 7, over non-payment of their COVID-19 hazard allowance, non-implementation of residency funding, and other demands.
Reacting to the strike, Ehanire said: “it is with deep concern that l view the ongoing strike by the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors which commenced yesterday (Tuesday) September 7, 2020.
“We must remember that the primary duty of doctors and all health workers is to save lives. Embarking on a strike in this time that the country is battling with the COVlD-19 pandemic is ill-timed and ill-advised.
“lt is a critical time in which all well-meaning medical professionals should close ranks and confront the common enemy, which is the COVlD-I9 pandemic threatening mankind.
“This is therefore one strike too many. Besides, most of the demands have been met and others though difficult, are at an advanced stage of implementation. A little patience would have made a big difference.
“The Federal Ministry of Health finds it necessary to ensure measures are put in place to mitigate the effect of this strike on the generality of our populace by directing the CMDs/MDs of our federal tertiary hospitals to immediately do the following: COVlD-19 treatment outlets should continue to function as before.
“Emergency services should continue to run as before. Routine services should be maintained with consultants, NYSC doctors. Locum staffers to be brought in when and where necessary to forestall services disruption when applicable and affordable.”
Ehanire called on the NARD to return to work and engage the Federal Government in completing the ongoing due process of implementing the MoU between NARD and government.
“I wish to assure the general public that measures have been put in place to ensure that they continue to access services at all our federal tertiary hospitals across the country,” Ehanire noted.
KanyiDaily recalls that Medical Doctors under the employment of the Lagos State Government had also embarked on warning strike over the issues of COVID-19 hazard allowance.