Dr. Emeka Orji, the President of NARD, had a conversation with the Vanguard in which he reacted to the circular and called the action taken by the ministry as sad.
Recall that the Federal Government had ordered hospitals to keep an attendance register for all resident doctors and that the Chief Medical Directors and Medical Directors of Federal Tertiary Hospitals had been instructed to implement the no work, no pay policy on the striking members of the National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD.
Dr. Andrew Noah, the Director of Hospital Services, put his signature on a circular that was dated August 1 and addressed to all of the Chief Medical Directors and Medical Directors across the country. The circular was headlined "Re: Incessant strike action by the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors: Implementation of the 'No Work, No Pay' policy of the Federal Government."
The following is an excerpt from the circular that reads in part as follows: "The various conciliatory meetings by the Federal Ministry of Health and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment with Government stakeholders, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the National Assembly have proven to be fruitless in getting NARD to call off their indefinite strike action."
"I am directed to inform you that the Federal Ministry of Health has instituted the policy of 'No work, No Pay' against the striking resident doctors in line with circular Ref. No.58598/8.1/II/182 dated June 22, 2016. "I am directed to notify you that the Federal Ministry of Health has instituted the policy of 'No work, No Pay' against the striking resident doctors.
"I am further directed to request that you maintain an attendance register for all residents who are willing to work and supply the ministry of such name every month," it said. "I am further directed to request that you maintain an attendance register for all residents."
Dr. Orji, the President of NARD, issued the following statement to the Vanguard in a prompt manner: "It is unfortunate that the Ministry of Health has been shifting blame and keep saying they don't have a minister yet, which is why they cannot handle such issues."They are now able to put imputative measures into effect because they have both the will and the competence to do so.
"I can tell you that this letter has made things worse, and nobody should blame NARD for any escalation that might likely happen from next week," I said. "I can tell you that this letter has made things worse."
It is important to keep in mind that on July 26, NARD began a strike that would go indefinitely. This occurred after a two-week deadline that it had given the government to satisfy its demands had passed.
Their demands include the execution of the one-for-one replacement policy for healthcare professionals and the discontinuation of the downgrading of the membership certificate provided by the West African Postgraduate Medical and Surgical Colleges. Additionally, they want the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria to stop the downgrading of the membership certificate.
There is also the prompt payment of all wage arrears, the adoption of the Consolidated Medical wage Structure, the introduction of a new hazard allowance, and the cultivation of the Medical Residency Training Act, to name just a few of the items on this list.