Industrial Harmony in Health Sector Heads for Crisis as Resident Doctors Give 21-Day Ultimatum

Industrial harmony that have existed in the nation’s health sector for sometime now will soon be broken.
That is if the threat, Monday, by te National Association of Resident Doctors, to embark on strike after the expiration of 21 days ultimatum to reverse decisions to sack doctors, is not heeded by the Federal Government.
NARD President Dr Muhammad Askira, while briefing the press in Abuja, Monday, said when the 21-day ultimatum expires, “industrial harmony in our various hospitals may not be guaranteed if the existing realities are not resolved.”
“NARD will no longer tolerate the undue sack of resident doctors and demands immediate reversal of such,” Askira said after NARD’s executive council met in Abuja.
“We urge government to ensure appropriate and adequate remuneration of our members at various hospitals.”
The association said its members in state-owned tertiary hospitals in Osun, Imo, Oyo, Kogi, Abia and Ekiti have not been paid in the past three to eight months.
“Most hospitals are paying our members only fractions of their salaries, notably FETHA Abakiliki, FMC Umuahia, ABUTH Zaria, UNTH Enugu, while in UCH Ibadan, UBTH Benin City, LUTH Idi-Araba, FMC Owerri, ISTH Irrua and NOH Dala, November-December 2015 salaries are yet to be paid,” said Askira.
The Ministry of Health had last month issued a circular asking hospital managements to implement a no-work-no-pay directive against striking workers in the sector to help curb incessant strike actions.
But NARD said it will not be deterred by the threat of the circular, csaying its members have gone for months with fractions of their pay or none at all.
“Must we protest before they attend to our needs? This is April and some of our members have not been paid December salaries. Let them pay us the penalty of ‘work without pay’ and we can now accept the penalty of ‘no work no pay’..
“My concern is first if the government allows people to go on strike. NARD demands are demands that are primarily government responsibility.”
The association also wants government to release and implement guidelines for residency training with budgetary backing.

Author: News Editor

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