In reaction to the nationwide strike embarked upon by the National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, the Federal Government has handed a directive over to the Chief Medical Directors and Managing Directors of federal tertiary hospitals.
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, who gave the directive in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday asked the CMDs to immediately commence the use of consultants and doctors on the National Youth Service Corps to provide routine services.
He also directed that locum staff should be brought in when and where necessary to forestall services disruption when applicable and affordable.
Osagie expressed deep concern about the ongoing industrial action adding that embarking on a strike at a time when the country is battling with the COVlD-19 pandemic is ill-timed.
While noting that the primary duty of doctors and all health workers is to save lives, the Minister stressed that lt is a critical time in which all well-meaning medical professionals should close ranks in battling the COVlD-I9 pandemic.
However, he added that most of the association’s demands have been met and others are at an advanced stage of implementation noting that a little patience would have made a big difference.
Also, he charged the NARD to return to work and engage the Federal Government in completing the ongoing due process of implementing the MoU between NARD and government.
You will recall that the Resident Doctors embarked on the nationwide indefinite strike on Monday, September 7 over the non-payment of their COVID-19 hazard allowance and other demands.