No work no pay, says FG as resident Doctors kick

Written by on August 9, 2021

The Federal Government has mandated all chief medical directors in teaching hospitals across the country to open attendance registers with a view to stopping salaries of doctors taking part in the strike called by the National Association of Resident Doctors.

The order, which was revealed to newsmen by a senior health official, was also confirmed by the President of NARD, Dr Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, on Sunday August 8 2021.

The senior health official, stated, “Government is determined to implement the no-work-no-pay order. As from tomorrow Monday August 9 2021, attendance registers will be opened in all hospitals. Everybody will be paid based on attendance.”

As government and resident doctors on Sunday August 8 2021 traded blame over the strike, plight of patients in the affected hospitals worsened as many of them were withdrawn by their relatives.

Recall that NARD on Monday August 2 last week, resumed the strike it suspended on April 10 following the Federal Government’s promise to meet its demands including payment of the residency fund, COVID-19 allowance, hazard allowance as well as the outstanding salary shortfalls.

Before resuming the strike on Monday, the doctors alleged that the Federal Government failed to implement the Memorandum of Understanding it signed with them after over 100 days they suspended their last strike.

According to them, despite efforts by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, to ensure the Medical Residency Training Funds are captured in the supplementary budget, the Federal Government has failed to disburse the funds to their members.

Journalists reported last weeek that the strike grounded tertiary hospitals in the country as consultants, who were left to attend to patients, were overwhelmed by the large number of the patients.

On Friday August 6 2021, the Federal Government said it had invoked the “no –work- no pay” rule as contained in Section 43 of the Labour Act.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, who stated this in an interview on Politics Today, a current affairs programme on Channels Television, said government had communicated its position to the leadership of NARD.

But the NARD President, in an interview with reporters on Sunday said, “We are aware that they are going to bring down registers tomorrow. We are aware that they have spoken to chief medical directors on that. We are aware they have sent a circular on no-work, no-pay to all teaching hospitals.

“We are not aware if they have answered our ultimatum. What have they done in trying to convince the younger ones to go back to work when they have not answered our Memorandum of Action which was signed on March 29 and April 9? So, these are the big questions.

“You are in government and you want to discipline a child, you beat the child but you still hold the mouth of the child to prevent him from crying out. You had 116 days since you signed a Memorandum of Action which was time-bound and you had six weeks but as of tomorrow it will be 117 days and you have not done anything. Will you bully your child that you have not paid for months and still want to impose a no-work, no-pay policy?

“He (Ngige) has already written to the chief medical directors of hospitals and we are aware they are invoking the no-work- no-pay policy already, but we are not resuming yet,” Okhuaihesuyi said.

On the alleged threat by the Federal Government to sack NARD members if they failed to resume this week, Okhuaihesuyi said it was a welcome development.

The NARD President argued that anyone hired by the Federal Government would automatically become a NARD member.

He further wondered where the government would find the doctors to replace the 16,000 NARD members who were already trained.

“I don’t see how they will replace someone who has been in training for three to five years with a new person who hardly knows anything. Anyone who is brought in as a resident doctor will automatically be our member anyway,” Okhuaihesuyi said.

He added that his association had received an invitation to meet with the House of Representatives Committee on Health on Monday August 9 2021 (today).

He said, “The chairman, House of Committee on Health, Dr Tanko Sununu, has sent an invite to us to meet him in Abuja on August 9, 2021.”



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