The indefinite strike action embarked on by members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon.
It will be recalled that the NARD began their indefinite strike on August 2, 2021, due to government’s failure to meet most of the union’s demands.
The Federal Government on their part have asked the striking resident doctors to resume their duties as they cannot continue to hold the Federal Government to ransom on issues related to state affairs.
However, last week, the Federal Government dragged the striking doctors to the industrial court through the office of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, a ministry headed by Dr Chris Ngige for allegedly abdicating their responsibilities.
The court has however summoned the doctors to explain why the “no work, no pay” rule should be applied against them.
The case was however adjourned till September 15 in a proceeding that had members of NARD and the Ministry of Health workers in attendance. However, the Ministry of Labour and Employment failed to attend.
In a country where the president is a frequent overseas medical tourist, one would think the practices in those places would be modelled at least to some extent.
According to NARD, it is 5 years and 11 months since they signed the Memorandum of Terms of Settlements (MOTOS). Yet, the government has reneged.
There is no sane country that will joke with the affairs of health workers, but this is Nigeria; be prepared for anything. Health workers salaries being delayed for months because of a platform’s failure is unacceptable.
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) had also warned it would join forces with NARD if NARD’s demands are not met.This will be disastrous for our nation. If our hospitals are grounded totally, one can only imagine the kind of situation we will have at hand in this time of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
But does the government really care? Afterall, they don’t use the hospitals in the first place.
Political actors and our leaders should please know the common man can not afford overseas medical treatment, and they should do the needful by meeting the demands of the doctors.
I don’t think it’s necessary to remind our leaders that they were unable to travel last year during the pandemic and were forced to settle for our hospitals and facilities.
This has really shown that we didn’t learn anything from the ravaging pandemic which is now on a spike with another deadly variant.