The Federal Government has ordered the Chief Medical Directors and Medical Directors in the Federal Tertiary Hospitals to implement the no work, no pay policy on the striking members of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).
The FG equally asked the hospitals to keep an attendance register for all resident doctors ready to work.
The directive was contained in a letter written by the Federal Ministry of Health and addressed to the CMDs and MDs of all FTHs in the country.
The letter, dated August 1, 2023, was titled, “Re: incessant strike action by the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors: Implementation of ‘No Work, No Pay’ policy of the Federal Government,” was signed by the Director of Hospital Services, Dr Andrew Noah.
Recall that NARD had on July 26, 2023, declared an indefinite strike to press home their demands.
The industrial action followed the expiration of a two-week ultimatum to the government to meet its demands.
Among the demands of the doctors is 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 partly 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.
Reacting to the development, Dr Kelechi Chikezie, the Secretary General of NARD, said the directive did not take them by surprise.
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.”
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