Resident Doctors Issue 21-day Ultimatum to FG


…. Set to discipline past presidents

Bassey Inyang in Calabar

The National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD) has given the Federal Government a 21-day ultimatum demanding that the latter should, without delay, address many issues left unattended to for years, which collectively have negative effects on the nation’s health sector, and the welfare of its members.

Besides making the call at the end of their national executive council meeting, the resident doctors also disclosed that the current Minister of Health, and two of his predecessors, will soon appear before the disciplinary committee of the NARD.
The disclosure was made in Calabar weekend in a communiqué issued at the end of the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the Association held in Calabar, Cross River State capital.

The communiqué, which was read by the National President of the association, Dr. John Onyebueze, said, “At the end of the 21 days, we will reconvene in Abuja to appraise progress, and if there is an improvement in all the issues we have raised, if efforts have been made in solving the problems, we will appreciate the government for doing.
“But if sufficient efforts have not been made, we are not sure; we may not guarantee that our members will continue to work especially, the enrolment of our members into the IPPI platform.”

Dwelling on its members slated for discipline, the association stated that activities and actions of some past and current members were “inimical to the welfare and progress of the association.”

The association mentioned the current minister of health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, and a former health minister, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, among those that will appear before its disciplinary committee.

“They were all like me, they were Presidents seated like me and piloted the affairs of the Association and that is why we find it difficult to believe, to imagine, to contemplate that, some of the things we hear about them, and some of the things we see them do; that such persons who have led this association, such persons of repute in the health sector, would be found wanting in those areas” he stated.

“That in view of the negative actions and stance of the following life members of our association on the aforementioned issues, Prof. Isaac F. Adewole, Dr. Wapada Balami and Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, they are hereby referred to NARD disciplinary committee for adjudication and further action….

“Our members begin to wonder, are doctors not capable enough to manage health sectors, if we have Minister of Health who is a Medical Doctor, all the directors in the Federal Ministry of Health are medical doctors and yet we will be having persistent crisis in the health industry.
“And the Banker, an educationist, who is the Chairman of the National Assembly Health Institution Committee, is solving the problems in the health industry, the country should be able to rethink, what we want is the square peg in the square hole, not a round peg in a square hole. We want people that will bring result to this country,” the president stated.

However, the communiqué disclosed that some Nigerians including former Senate President, Chief David Mark, and current speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, will be conferred with honorary membership awards, for their contribution towards the improvement of the health sector in Nigeria, and the association.
“Our association will also show some respect and appreciation to some members in the profession, and outside the profession who have uplifted the healthcare services.

“The association will also convey the Association life membership award to Senator David Mark, former Senate President. As a Senate President, he was involved in the mediation of the crisis in the health sector throughout his tenure.
“Through those mediation, there was reduction in crisis and disharmony in the health sector, we also convey honorary membership award to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Chairman of the House Committee on Health Institutions, Hon. Betty Apiafi who has done tremendously well especially in solving the problems in the health sector. They are not doctors,” the president said.