The National Association of Resident Doctors has asked the federal and state governments to resolve all outstanding issues in the health sector before September 30 or face an industrial action by its members.
The newly-elected President of the association, Dr. John Onyebueze, announced the ultimatum at the end of NARD’s 26th Annual General Meeting in Enugu.
The resident doctors flayed government at all levels over what it described as the poor state of health care delivery in the country.
Onyebueze, who addressed journalists at the end of the meeting, said the current state of public health care delivery in the country was ‘pitiable.’
Demanding an immediate implementation of pending agreements reached between the government and health workers, he declared that the association “cannot guarantee industrial harmony in the health sector if this persists beyond the payment of September salaries.”
Onyebueze said the association was demanding an immediate upgrade of infrastructure in teaching hospitals, urgent action against poliomyelitis and Lassa fever, as well as the immediate release and implementation of the report on the residency training programme.
He added that the association was unhappy with the disruption of the structure of the residency programme by the chief medical directors of teaching hospitals.
Listing the grievances of the resident doctors, he added, “Are you talking about the rickety beds in the accident and emergency wards?
“We do not even have gloves and emergency tools. We do not have pens to write and make prescriptions. We are saying that this thing must not continue.”
Continuing, Onyebueze said only the implementation of outstanding agreements would forestall an industrial action by resident doctors across the country.
“The Federal Government should expedite action on the release of the bailout funds for the state tertiary health institutions as agreed earlier.
“The Federal Government should, as a matter of urgency, ensure the migration of all our members to the IPPIS platform.
“Centres that are not deducting pension contributions from our members should immediately commence, while all centres should ensure full remittance of deducted contributions of our members to the pension fund administrators.”
The association said it did not agree with the ‘no work, no pay’ rule canvassed by the government during industrial actions.
“In line with extant labour laws, we reject in its entirety the ‘no work no pay’ rule as currently being applied by the Federal Ministry of Health,” Onyebueze said.
He condemned what he described as the “unjust sacking of doctors.”