Medical leaders in federal hospitals have been directed by the Federal Government to apply a ‘no work, no pay’ policy towards striking members of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).
The health authorities have also instructed these hospitals to maintain an attendance register for any resident doctors willing to continue working.
The directive was issued in a letter dated August 1, 2023, by Dr. Andrew Noah, the Director of Hospital Services.
Akelicious recalls that resident doctors on the 26th of July, 2023 commenced an indefinite strike following the expiration of a two-week ultimatum issued to the government to meet their demands.
The doctors are demanding the implementation of the one-for-one replacement policy for healthcare workers; the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria to discontinue the downgrading of the membership certificate issued by the West African Postgraduate Medical and Surgical Colleges; the immediate payment of all salary arrears; the implementation of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure; a new hazard allowance; and the domestication of the Medical Residency Training Act; among others.
The government, in the letter, accused the striking of being insensitive.
The letter read, “The various conciliatory meetings by the Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment with government stakeholders, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, and the National Assembly have proved abortive.
I am directed to inform you that the Federal Ministry of Health has instituted the policy of ‘No work, No Pay’ against the striking resident doctors in line with circular Ref. No.58598/8.1/II/182 dated June 22, 2016.
“I am further directed to request you to maintain an attendance register for all residents willing to work and furnish the ministry of such name on a monthly basis.”
The Secretary General of NARD, Dr Kelechi Chikezie in his reaction to the decision of the Federal Government said the directive was not unexpected.
Chikezie said, “We have seen the letter and we will meet as leaders of NARD to take a position on that.
“But that policy is not new to us, and we would not say we were not expecting it. However, the position of NARD will meet and take a position on it.”