LAGOS, Nigeria (VOICE OF NIGERIA)– The Federal Government has threatened to hire ad-hoc doctors with salaries of the striking resident doctors.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, gave the disclosure during a Channels Television program.
National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) began a five-day warning strike, on 18 May, over unmet demands.
According to the Minister, the association is, among other things, demanding an increment in the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure to the tune of 200 percent of the current gross salary of doctors; new allowances included in its letter to the Minister of Health on 7 July, 2022, on the review of CONMESS; payment of the 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund; payment of salary arrears and consequential adjustment of the minimum wage.
Ngige said the striking resident doctors were “crying wolves.” He also said the NARD was disrespectful to the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), which was already negotiating with the Government on its behalf.
“The resident doctors are part of NMA. They are young doctors in training. So if the NMA is negotiating on their behalf as the parent body, what these young people (resident doctors) are doing is disrespecting the NMA. They are crying wolf when there is none,” he said.
Meanwhile, the five-day warning strike has disrupted health services across health facilities in the country as there has been total compliance to the strike by members of NARD.