By Grace Udofia
Despite the Nigerian Government’s threat that it will begin the implementation of “No work no pay” to cajole resident doctors under the auspices of National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) back to work, the association has vowed not to return to work until all their demands are met.
The association has been on strike for the past two weeks, following failure on the part of the government to meet its demands since 2020.
However, the striking doctors have continued to protest over their unpaid salaries and government’s adamant stand on the plights of health workers across the country.
In an interview with The Heritage Times, President of NARD Dr Okhuaihesuyi Uyilawa lamented the plights of his colleagues abanndoned by the government after been exposed to various forms of harm in the course of carrying out their duties.
On the “No work no pay” threat by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, Uyilawa explained that the association will not back down on the strike regardless of the threat.
He said, “We just left the court where the Labour Minister is challenging the decision of the association. The court has adjourned the case to September 15 where they will hear our case and reasons why the “No work no pay” decision should not hold water.
“The strike continues because the effect is worse of on our members and not just hospitals and Nigerians, our colleagues that died on duty during the coronavirus outbreak does the government care about them?
“What about Doctors that have not been paid for over 19 months, they are human beings and have families like every other Nigerian, they have bills to attend to, so what do you say about those people?
“We have not heard anything from the Minister of Labour till date, they say they won’t call us and talk to us but we are sympathetic to Nigerians and will play our own part”.
When asked how the hospitals are being run without resident doctors, he explained that consultants are there attending to patients.
He said, “We used to be there doing the work and never complained of workload so we hope the Consultants currently working in these hospitals will be able to attend to patients until the FG decides to call us for discussions.
“Hopefully they will call us soon to resolve the issues.