The Federal Government has directed Chief Medical Directors and Managing Directors of federal tertiary hospitals to replace striking members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) with consultants and doctors on the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
This directive was contained in a statement by Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health, on Wednesday.
The minister said the strike by the doctors was ill-advised and ill-timed. He said it was rather painful that the doctors had chosen to commence the industrial action when processes to meet their demands has reached an advanced stage.
“It is with deep concern that l 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 COVID-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 COVID-19 pandemic threatening mankind,” the statement read.
“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.”
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Ehanire added that locum staffers should be engaged where necessary to ensure that the vacuum left by the striking doctors is not felt.
He urged the NARD to return to work.