Resident Doctors On Day One Count Of Indefinite Nationwide Strike.
This days we can seriously tell who strike pass when ASUU And NARD will call off the current indefinite strike in Nigeria. The question is neither what led to the strike, but what is the Federal Government of Nigeria (President Buhari) doing to ensure the call off strike by these bodies so our dearly Brothers, and Sisters can be in school to have quality education, without delay in tertiary institute leading to extra years of courses and study. The health sector was not left out from the act of strike, as NARD announced it strike yesterday. What will become the fate of ordinary citizens in the nation who can not afford taking their love ones to London, or America for medical care will have to believe God for touch of miracles.
Just few weeks back NARD sound 21days warning of taking to indefinite strike If the Federal Government of Nigeria do not meet to it negotiations as agreed by the Nigeria Government. Well, just yesterday it became so obvious these Resident Doctors have no smile on their face than to keep to it words. But The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has rejected the terms of settlement reached with the Federal Government last Thursday and declared a nationwide industrial action until the demands of its members are met. The President of NARD, Dr. John Onyebueze, who announced this in Abuja yesterday after a meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the association, said the strike took off yesterday morning.
“The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) rising from its ordinary National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, which held on September 3, 2017 in Abuja, rejected the memorandum of terms of settlement from government on the items of her demand for strike, and resolved to proceed on the proposed national total and indefinite strike with effect from 8 a.m. Monday 4th September 2017,”he said.
Issues in dispute include salary shortfall of 2016 and January to May 2017; failure to rectify the salary shortfall from August 2017; failure to circularise house officers’ entry point; failure to correct the stagnation of promotion of members and properly place them on their appropriate grade level; failure to enroll and capture members on the Integrated Personnel Payment Information System (IPPIS); failure to budget, deduct and remit both the employer and employees’ contributions and NARD members’ pension to retirement savings account since 2013.
Though the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole and his Labour and Employment counterpart, Senator Chris Ngige, who met with the resident doctors till the wee hours of Saturday declared that the planned strike had been suspended. a visit to different government hospitals by news men showed that the doctors kept away from work.
Resident Doctors in LASUTH, Dr. Adeola Badmus said the doctors would commence strike as directed by NARD, but would have to assemble their colleagues to choose a date for the commencement of the industrial action. Though there were queues at different sections in LASUTH, the patients at the Emergency Unit said doctors were attending to them.
Meanwhile, the immediate past Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Dr. Clement Iloh, has blamed the incessant strike in the health sector on indiscriminate issuance of circulars and rivalry among the professionals.
His words: “There should be appointed authorities to issue circulars so that those circulars can be obeyed and implemented. But everybody in the Ministry of Health, even directors of human resources, directors of hospitals, chief medical directors and all sorts of people issue circulars and letters depending on their own interpretation of situations. This is one of the things that cause a lot of disorganisation and confusion.”
Therefore, there is the urgent need for government to streamline circulars in the ministry of health for them to have focus.” While stating that the role of the Ministry of Labour and Employment is undoubtedly that of bringing all stakeholders to a roundtable for amicable settlement of disputes, he said that it was the responsibility of negotiators to consider affordability, ability and sustainability when negotiating.“It is unfortunate that we have situations where people agree on terms that are not implementable to achieve peace of the graveyard,” he said.