The Federal Government has directed the Chief Medical Directors and Managing Directors of federal tertiary hospitals to “immediately” commence the use of Consultants and doctors on the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to provide routine services in place of resident doctors who are currently on strike.
Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, who gave the directive, in Abuja, through a memo, on Wednesday, added that locum staff should “be brought in when and where necessary to forestall services’ disruption when applicable and affordable.”
While directing that COVID-19 treatment centers should continue to function as before, the Minister added that locum staff should “be brought in when and where necessary to forestall services’ disruption when applicable and affordable.”
He described the ongoing strike by the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country as ill-timed and ill-advised.
“It is with deep concern that I 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.
“It 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,” Dr. Ehanire said.
The Minister also called on the striking doctors to return to work and patiently engage the government on their demands whom he said have been mostly met.
“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.
“I call on the NARD to return to work and engage the Federal Government in completing 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,” the minister said.