The President of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), Dr Emeka Orji, has strongly criticized the Federal Government’s directive to enforce the “no work, no pay” policy against striking resident doctors in federal tertiary hospitals.
Dr Orji expressed that this directive has further exacerbated the ongoing situation and intensified the anger among NARD members.
In a conversation on Friday, Dr Emeka Orji emphasized that the government’s stance reflects a lack of sincerity in addressing the concerns raised by the association.
He warned of a potential major escalation of the strike next week and clarified that NARD should not be held accountable for such a progression.
Dr Orji argued that the need for the “no work, no pay” directive could have been avoided altogether if the government had prioritized resolving the pressing and significant issues that initially led to the strike.
He asserted, “It is contradictory to shirk your responsibilities and subsequently attempt to penalize individuals advocating for you to fulfill those duties.
The frustration among our members is now even more palpable, and NARD will be issuing an official statement before the conclusion of this weekend.”
The Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Health, had issued a circular dated August 1, 2023, titled “Re: Incessant Strike Action by the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors: Implementation of ‘No Work, No Pay’ Policy.”
The circular expressed disappointment over the continuation of the strike despite multiple efforts at conciliation involving various stakeholders, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, and the National Assembly. These efforts, unfortunately, did not yield a resolution.
Consequently, federal tertiary hospitals have been directed to enforce the “no work, no pay” policy and maintain an attendance register for resident doctors who choose to work despite the ongoing strike.
The circular stated, “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 further directed to request you to maintain an attendance register for all residents willing to work and furnish the ministry of such names on a monthly basis.”
While Nigerian labor laws generally ensure that striking workers receive their full salaries, the “no work, no pay” principle may be invoked by the government in cases where the strike is deemed unjustified or illegal.
It’s worth noting that historically, the enforcement of this policy has been infrequent and has often been rescinded once a strike is suspended or concluded.
The ongoing strike by resident doctors commenced on July 26, as a result of perceived inadequacies in the Nigerian government’s response to their demands.
Notable demands made by the NARD include the immediate payment of the 2023 MRTF, the prompt issuance of the circular on one-for-one replacement, compensation for skipping arrears, and an upward revision of CONMESS to align with the 2014 CONMESS value.
Additional demands include settling the arrears of the consequential adjustment of minimum to omitted doctors, reversing the downgrading of membership certificates by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), ensuring payment of MRTF, implementing new hazard allowances, introducing skipping and rectifying CONMESS in State Tertiary Health Institutions, as well as addressing omitted hazard allowance arrears.
Do you want to share a story with us? Do you want to advertise with us? Do you need publicity for a product, service, or event? Contact us on WhatsApp +2348183319097 Email: email@example.com