Urges striking health workers to return to work
The federal government wednesday suspended the sack of members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) pending the conclusion of the ongoing negotiations on the matter. This was part of the resolutions reached at the mediatory meeting initiated by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, between the federal government delegation and leaders of NARD.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, was quoted to have suspended the sack as part of the decision taken at the mediatory meeting with NARD.
According to Adewole, “We will do everything humanly possible to implement all the decisions arrived at in this meeting including the fact the circular sacking Resident doctors be ignored by all the parties concerned.” At the meeting, it was reported that the “Ministry of Health was to come up with list of those entitle to skipping and the amount and when they will pay them in one week. Forty two institutions that have not been implementing skipping should be asked to commence implementation immediately.
“Committee of Chief Medical Directors (CMDs) to meet in one week and implement skipping by June and any CMD that is unable to pay should appear at the next meeting on July 14. The judgment of the Industrial Court must be executed.
“That by first week of July, guidelines on Residency Training will be made available.”
Part of the resolutions also include “entry point for House Officers should be from Commess 9 step 4. Or 1 step 1. It should be implemented immediately by the CMD. They should also start implementing pensions immediately Resident Doctors Association to make available records of all those sacked unfaily to the ministry of Health. Minister of Health should issue circular to CMDs to review the issue of those sacked unfairly without recourse to the earlier circular detailing the template to be followed. Circular to be send out on June 22, 2016, by the minister to all health institutions and Federal Medical Centres (FMCs) running the Residency programme.”
The issue of FMC Owerri, Imo State, was also revisited, as NARD “appealed to minister to take a second look at it since doctors did not declare strike abinitio.”
The government also wednesday appealed to members of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) to return to work as there was no need to embark on the strike given that negotiations were still ongoing.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, in a statement argued that the decision by JOHESU to strike did not followed all procedural channels before such could be taken.
He said: “The attention of the federal government has been drawn to the activities of JOHESU under the Federal Ministry of Health who has declared a seven-day warning strike effective today, June 22nd, 2016.
“The federal government wishes to state unambiguously that the so called warning strike is ill advised and in bad faith more so as the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment has since waded into the matter and is in fact, in negotiation with the Ministry of Health and the affected Health unions.