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NARD strike: FG orders consultants, NYSC doctors to take over hospitals

The Federal Government has directed all Chief Medical Directors (CMDs) and Managing Directors of federal tertiary hospitals to, immediately, make use of consultants, doctors currently running their National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and locum staffers when and where necessary, to avoid disruption of health care services.

Since Resident Doctors commenced strike on September 7, patients have been left stranded in public hospitals across the country, with those on admission being discharged to seek healthcare services elsewhere. Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, who gave the directive yesterday in Abuja, said the strike was coming at the wrong time, considering the present COVID-19 pandemic which requires all health workers to be at their work post.

While describing the ongoing strike as one strike too many, he said it was unnecessary as majority of the striking doctors’ demands were already met and the remaining few were at an advanced stage of implementation. He urged the doctors to shelve the strike and return to the negotiating table.

His words: “We must member that the primary duty of doctors and all health workers is to save lives. Embarking on a strike at this time that the country is battling with the COVlD-l9 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-19 pandemic threatening mankind. “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.

“The Federal Ministry of Health finds it necessary to ensure measures are put in place to mitigate the effect of this strike on the generality of our populace by directing the CMDs/MDs of our Federal Tertiary Hospitals to immediately do the following: “COVlD-19 treatment outlets should continue to function as before, emergency services should continue to run as before, routine services should be maintained with Consultants, NYSC doctors.

“Locum staffers to be brought in when and where necessary to forestall services disruption when applicable and affordable. “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.”

 

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